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Rugby World Cup: Tonga boss Mana Otai rings changes for Namibia after shock opening loss to Georgia

Tonga coach Mana Otai has backed a much-changed team to "do the job" in today's World Cup clash against Namibia.

The Tongans return to Pool C action at Sandy Park in Exeter 11 days after they were rocked 17-10 by Georgia - a result that immediately put their World Cup campaign on the back foot.

They will tackle Namibia without captain Nili Latu, who is sidelined due to a hamstring strain, and Tonga's degree of difficulty will increase considerably after today as their remaining two games are against Argentina and New Zealand.

Tonga make nine changes from the Georgia defeat, and Otai said: "There has always been a plan about how we take on these four games, and take into consideration the two four-day turnarounds in the upcoming two games.

"But, having said that, we also take into consideration now the situation that we're in.

"We haven't had success in the last game against Georgia, so we are making sure that we address this game first and foremost, hence the changes.

"This is the team that we believe is going to do the job in the game against Namibia."

Tonga's loss to Georgia means they are up against it in terms of securing a third-place pool finish to claim automatic qualification for the Japan 2019 World Cup.

Otai added: "There have been a few surprises, and it shows the nature of this competition. We've got to be prepared. We learned our lessons from Georgia."

Belfast Telegraph


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