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David Halaifonua has been named in Tonga’s starting line-up for the Pacific Nations Cup opener against Samoa.

The 32-year-old has been a regular for his country for a decade and Saturday’s clash in Apia will be his 29th cap.

Coach Toutai Kefu has blended experienced players like Halaifonua, Ma’ama Vaipulu and Cooper Vuna with five new caps – Sam Lousi, James Faiva, Malietoa Hingano, Toma Taufa and Otumaka Mausia.

“We’ll concentrate on our game and do what we do best but they are very physical side,” Kefu said. “Samoa are direct, aggressive around the tackle and breakdowns and we are expecting a very, very physical game this weekend.”

Saturday’s game kicks off at 3pm local time (3am UK time).