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Tonga captain and cancer survivor Nasi Manu’s remarkable comeback story is on hold

Tonga captain and cancer survivor Nasi Manu’s remarkable comeback story is on hold, forcing 'Ikale Tahi into some late changes for this afternoon’s Pacific Nations Cup clash with Manu Samoa.

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The man who was a co-captain as the Highlanders broke their Super Rugby drought has barely stopped smiling as he prepares for RWC with Tonga. Source: 1 NEWS

Manu was set to lead Tonga in his first international game after recovering from testicular cancer but has to withdraw from the entire PNC campaign with injury.

The absence of Manu, who was Highlanders’ co-captain when they won the title in 2015, means hooker Elvis Taione assumes the captaincy.

Sione Vailanu will take the No.8 with Siua Halanukonuka coming onto the bench.

Tonga: 

1. Paea Fa’anunu, 2. Elvis Taione (c), 3. Ben Tameifuna, 4. Leva Fifita, 5. Sam Lousi*, 6. Onehunga Havili, 7. Maama Vaipulu, 8. Sione Vailanu, 9. Samisoni Fisilau, 10. James Faiva*, 11. Viliame Lolohea, 12. Cooper Vuna, 13. Malietoa Hingano*, 14. David Halaifonua, 15. Nafi Tuitavake.

Reserves: 16. Sefo Sakalia, 17. Toma Taufa*, 18. Ma’afu Fia, 19. Zane Kapeli, 20. Fotu Lokotui, 21. Siua Halanukonuka, 22. Leon Fukofuka, 23. Otumaka Mausia*.