Live updates: Rugby World Cup - Japan v Manu Samoa at Stadium de Toulouse

  • 29/09/2023

Kia ora, good morning and welcome to Newshub's live coverage of the Rugby World Cup pool game between Japan and Samoa at Stadium de Toulouse.

Pool D is delicately poised, with England seemingly locked into a quarter-final spot, but three other teams still wrestling for the remaining berth in the final eight.

Japan have already lost to England, while Manu Samoa have fallen to Argentina, so the losers today will likely fall out of knockout contention.

At 12th in the world, the Pacific Islanders are ranked one place ahead of their rivals and have already beaten them once this year, 24-22 at Sapporo in July.

Samoa coach Seilala Mapusua has dropped his former All Blacks contingent, with loose forward Steven Luatua falling to the bench, while prop Charlie Fuamuina and first-five Lima Sopoaga are resting injuries.  

Join us at 8am Friday for kickoff.


Former All Black Fifita's World Cup over after suspension for Tonga

Ex-All Blacks flanker Vaea Fifita has copped a four-game ban for a dangerous tackle, effectively ending his World Cup campaign for Tonga.

Fifita's shoulder made contact with halfback Finn Russell's head during his team's 45-17 loss to Scotland. The 11-test All Black was initially shown a yellow card, which was upgraded to red upon bunker review.

At his judicial hearing, Fifita admitted to foulplay, but challenged the red card.

The panel said the tackle was always illegal and there was no mitigation. The charge was reckless with a high degree of danger, the panel added.

It started the sanction at six matches, and removed two for Fifita's remorse and disciplinary record.

Vaea Fifita in action for Tonga.
Vaea Fifita in action for Tonga. Photo credit: Getty

The suspension rules him out of Tonga's final two pool games against South Africa on Monday and Romania on October 9.

The former Hurricanes forward played his final test for the All Blacks in 2019, before switching his allegiance to Tonga last year. He currently plays for Welsh side Scarlets.

Drawn in the stacked Pool B, Tonga have struggled so far in France, falling to heavy defeats against Ireland and Scotland.