Nili Latu leading Tonga's sipi tau

Falcons on international duty

Thursday 29 June 2017

Newcastle Falcons pair Nili Latu and Sonatane Takulua both start for Tonga in Saturday's home test with Samoa.

The Pacific Nations Cup clash sees Tonga aiming to bounce back from their 24-6 defeat to Wales on Friday June 16, during which Takulua kicked two penalties.

He starts at scrum-half for the Ikale Tahi with Latu, Tonga's most-capped player of all time, packing down on the open-side flank.

Saturday's kick-off at Teufaiva Stadium in the Tongan capital of Nuku'alofa is at 3am UK time.

Newcastle players could also be to the fore in San Diego on Saturday when the USA hosts Canada in the second leg of their Rugby World Cup qualifier.

The sides are tied 28-28 after last weekend's opening leg, which saw Falcons' Canadian wing DTH van der Merwe and USA lock Nick Civetta scoring two tries each.

Van der Merwe's brace saw him become the top try-scorer in Canadian national team history, Newcastle back-five forward Evan Olmstead also in the Canada squad for a game which kicks off at 11pm UK time.

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