TOYOTACITY, Japan (Reuters) – Samoa coach Steve Jackson has made six changes to his side for Saturday’s Rugby World Cup clash against hosts Japan at the City of Toyota Stadium on Saturday, throwing up the possibility of two sets of brothers being on the pitch at the same time.
Number eight and captain Jack Lam, and his brother Seilala, who plays at hooker, will start the Pool A game at the City of Toyota Stadium, the first time in a World Cup they have achieved the feat.
Loose-head prop Jordan Lay has been brought into the starting XV while his brother James, also a prop who operates on the other side of the front row, is among the replacements.
Lock Piula Faasalele, scrum-half Dwayne Polataivao, fly-half Ulupano Seuteni and wing Ah See Tuala are the others to have been drafted into the side following Monday’s 34-0 loss to Scotland.
Samoa are still in contention for the quarter-finals, but would need to beat Japan and Ireland in their remaining two matches, both of which would be major surprises.
Japan are riding the crest of a wave following their stunning 19-12 victory over Ireland last time out and will be hopeful of keeping that momentum going against the Samoans.
Flank TJ Ioane and full-back Tim Nanai-Williams are the only two Samoan players who started in their 26-5 defeat to Japan in the 2015 World Cup, which was also the last meeting between the sides.
Team: 15-Tim Nanai-Williams, 14-Ah See Tuala, 13-Alapati Leiua, 12-Henry Taefu, 11-Ed Fidow, 10-Ulupano Seuteni, 9-Dwayne Polataivao, 8-Jack Lam (captain), 7-TJ Ioane, 6-Chris Vui, 5-Kane Le’aupepe, 4-Piula Faasalele, 3-Michael Alaalatoa, 2-Seilala Lam, 1-Jordan Lay
Replacements: 16-Ray Niuia, 17-Paul Alo-Emile, 18-James Lay, 19-Senio Toleafoa, 20-Josh Tyrell, 21-Pele Cowley, 22-Tusi Pisi, 23-Kieron Fonotia.
(Reporting By Nick Said; Editing by Amlan Chakraborty)