Picking a Pacific Islanders XV including their exiles

The Pacific Islands have become accustomed to losing many of their best players to other nations due to migration and economic factors. 

With Samoa seriously stuggling financially, now is an appropriate moment to look at other stars the Pacific Islands missed out on.

Here is a XV selected from all the current players eligible to play for Fiji, Samoa, Tonga and Papua New Guinea, including those playing for Australia, New Zealand, England and Wales.

The islanders miss their exiled world-class players, but put them all together, and this would be a side able to match the best in the world.


Fullback: TELUSA VEAINU (Tonga) 

Joining Leicester Tigers directly from the 2015 Rugby World Cup, Tonga international Veainu ended his first season as the supporters’ Player of the Year and Newcomer of the Year. Quick, elusive and strong, Veainu won his first cap in the 2015 Pacific Nations before starting all four games for Tonga in the World Cup that year.


Wing: WAISAKE NAHOLO (New Zealand)

A formidable linebreaker, Naholo realised the potential he evidenced at a young age, with speed, power and x-factor well-suited to modern rugby. Born in Fiji, he made his All Blacks debut against Argentina in 2015 before becoming an integural member of the squad, winning the Rugby World Cup in 2015.

Embed from Getty Images


Centre: TEVITA KURIDRANI (Australia)

Kuridrani was born in SuvaFiji but has become a world-class centre representing Australia, winning 55 caps to date. With a move to Sale reported, it would be great to see the powerhouse doing his thing in the Aviva Premiership.
Embed from Getty Images


Centre: MANU TUILAGI (England)

Born in Samoa, Manu Tuilagi came through the age groups with England, and stepped up to the senior side in time for the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand. Tuilagi, when fit, is one of the most dangerous ball carriers in world rugby.
Embed from Getty Images

CONTINUES ON PAGE TWO