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Take a look at Samoan, Tongan and Fijian dream teams that would shake things up at RWC 2019 - if eligibility rules were relaxed

With news coming out today that former All Blacks star Charles Piutau won't be able to represent Tonga at next year's Rugby World Cup in Japan, we decided to take a look at how good Samoa, Tonga and Fiji could be if the eligibility rules were relaxed.

The answer to that question - they would give any top-tier nation team a run for their money.

You can understand World Rugby's concerns and reasonings to roadblock Piutau's wishes to play for Tonga, with the Aucklander failing to represent Tonga in an Olympic qualifying Sevens tournament, which is a prerequisite alongside a three-year stand-down period.

Charles Piutau of the All Blacks
Charles Piutau Source: Photosport

The 27-year-old played 17 Tests for the All Blacks up until 2015, before taking up lucrative deals to play in the UK. 

The majority of players selected in the dream teams are former All Blacks and current players close to selections in the New Zealand squad.

So remember, it is a dream team selection but imagine the possibilities if the Pacific nations could pick some of these world class stars to bolster their sides.

Samoa

, United Kingdom - 13 January 2018; Victor Vito of La Rochelle during the European Rugby Champions Cup Pool 1 Round 5 match between Ulster and La Rochelle at the Kingspan Stadium in Belfast. (Photo By Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile via Getty Images)
Victor Vito of La Rochelle during the European Rugby Champions Cup. Source: Getty

1 John Afoa, 2 Motu Matu’u, 3 Charlie Faumuina, 4 Victor Vito, 5 Jerome Kaino, 6 Jordan Taufua, 7 Jack Lam, 8 Akira Ioane, 9 Pele Cowley, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 11 Julian Savea, 12 Ma’a Nonu, 13 Francis Saili, 14 Ben Lam, 15 Melani Nanai/Stephen Perofeta.


Reserves: 16 Asafo Aumua, 17 Paul Alo-Emile, 18 Manu Leiataua, 19 Faifili Levave, 20 Josh Tyerll, 21 Dwayne Polataivao, 22 Solomon Alaimalo, 23 Etene Nanai-Seturo.

Manu Samoa's forward pack with veterans Charlie Faumuina, Victor Vito, Jerome Kaino and rising star Akira Ioane would create headaches for any top international team.

Lima Sopoaga of the Highlanders in action during the Super Rugby match between the Highlanders and the Lions played at Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin, New Zealand, Saturday 12 May 2018. Copyright Image: Joe Allison / www.photosport.nz
Lima Sopoaga of the Highlanders in action during the Super Rugby match between the Highlanders and the Lions played at Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin. Source: Photosport

Lima Sopoaga would be a great general at first-five, with his backline filled with plenty of firepower with the inclusion of Ma'a Nonu and Julian Savea.

Tonga

1 Siegfried Fisi'ihoi, 2 Paula Nauamo, 3 Ben Tameifuna, 4 Vaea Fifita, 5 Sam Lousi, 6 Shannon Frizell, 7 Fotu Lokotui, 8 Sione Vailanu 9, Augustine Pulu, 10 Kurt Morath, 11 Daniel Kilioni, 12 Malakai Fekitoa, 13 Willis Halaholo, 14 George Moala, 15 Charles Piutau.

Northern Tour - Scotland v All Blacks, 15 November 2014
All Blacks' Malakai Fekitoa
Mandatory Credit ©Photosport/Inpho/Billy Stickland
Former All Blacks midfielder Malakai Fekitoa. Source: Photosport

Reserves: 16 Sosefo Sakalia, 17 Ma’afu Fia, 18 Outkolo Fahamokioa, 19 Valentino Mapapalngi, 20 Dan Faleafa, 21 Sonatane Takulua, 22 Latu Vaeno, 23 Siale Piutau.

Tonga's star-studded backline will feature former All Black Augustine Pulu at halfback, with Malakai Fekitoa and former Hurricane Willis Halaholo partnering up in the midfield.

George Moala fends off a Bay of Plenty tackler Source: Photosport

Former All Black George Moala will have to settle for a spot on the wing, and of course, Piutau is named as starting fullback.

Fiji

1 Campese Maafu, 2 Sam Matavesi, 3 Manasa Saulo, 4 Tevita Cavubati, 5 Leone Nakarawa, 6 Doiniko Waqaniburotu, 7 Peceli Yato, 8 Viliame Mata, 9 Frank Lomani, 10 Ben Volavola, 11 Nemani Nadolo, 12 Semi Radradra, 13 Josua Tuisova, 14 Seta Tamanivalu, 15 Samu Kerevi.

Reserves: 16 Talemaitoga Tuapati, 17 Peni Ravai, 18 Isei Colatti, 19 Levani Botia, 20 Pita Gus Sowakula, 21, Nemia Kenatale, 22 Joshua Matavesi, 23 Marika Koroibete.

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 24:  Samu Kerevi of Australia is tackled by Owen Farrell of England and Ben Te'o during their Test match at Twickenham Stadium on November 24, 2018 in London, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
Samu Kerevi of Australia is tackled by Owen Farrell of England and Ben Te'o during their Test match at Twickenham Stadium. Source: Getty

Fiji is already packed with stars in their current international team and pulled off a historic 21-14 win over France last month.

Seta Tamanivalu of the Crusaders is tackled by Bernard Foley of the Waratahs and Kurtley Beale of the Waratahs during the Super Rugby match, Crusaders V Waratahs, AMI Stadium, Christchurch, New Zealand, 12th May 2018.Copyright photo: John Davidson / www.photosport.nz
Seta Tamanivalu of the Crusaders is tackled by Bernard Foley of the Waratahs and Kurtley Beale. Source: Photosport

But imagine the class former All Black Seta Tamanivalu and current Wallabies stars Samu Kerevi and Marika Koroibete could bring to the team if they chose to switch allegiances.

It seems the eligibility rules will always roadblock former international Test stars from representing Pacific heritage teams.

But it would be great if World Rugby could take a leaf out of rugby league's book and allow players to choose who they want to play for.

Especially after the success of Mate Ma'a Tonga at last year's Rugby League World Cup, with their fans bringing the tournament to life. 

Pacific rugby players that could shake up the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.
Pacific rugby players that could shake up the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan. Source: Photosport