Three members of the Coventry Rugby squad have been called up by their countries ahead of the autumn international window.
Tongan pair David Halaifonua and Dan Faleafa are joined by Canadian fly half Robbie Povey in joining training squads to prepare for what is an important month of action a year prior to the next World Cup.
Halaifonua is a powerful winger or full back who joined the blue-and-whites over the summer after a four-year spell with Premiership outfit Gloucester. The 31-year-old already has 28 caps to his name.
Faleafa, 29, made his Tongan debut in 2013, and has since gone on to win selection on 16 further occasions. He joined Coventry’s Greene King IPA Championship campaign last month after spending a number of years playing in France.
The pair, who have both featured prominently in Rowland Winter’s recent selections, could be part of Tonga’s warm-up against the French Barbarians, then internationals against Wales and Georgia.
These fixtures take place while Cov contest the early stages of the Championship Cup in November, and at the same time Rugby School alumni Povey hopes to be part of Canada’s quest to claim the final qualification spot for Japan 2019.
The Canucks, who face Coventry at the Butts Park Arena on Monday November 5 in a warm-up game, then head to Marseilles to contest a four-way repechage competition against Hong Kong, Germany and Kenya.
Povey, who has four Canadian caps, is yet to make his senior debut for Cov having arrived at the club last month.
The trio bridge a two-year gap since Cov’s most recent international, Gaston Mieres, represented Uruguay against USA and Canada, and director of rugby Rowland Winter believes it is another indicator of the progress being made at the BPA.
“We’re really pleased for the three players and hope all of them go on to win some more caps during the autumn,” he said.
“It’s also a very positive sign of the progress we are making at Coventry.
“The fact that Canada and Tonga have called up David, Jack and Robbie says a lot about not just the players, but also our club and the standard of rugby in the Championship.”
Watch Dan Faleafa preview tomorrow’s game at Ealing below: