Historic Vanuatu Side Named for Solomons Islands Showdown

Vanuatu Rugby League (VRL) has announced their 18 man squad for Saturday’s historic rugby league international against Solomon Islands in Mackay, Australia.

With 11 debutants, newly appointed Vanuatu Captain Samuela Loaloadravu said he was thrilled to be heading up a line-up of new talent.

“The new faces into the squad represent the increasing player pool available to the VRL.”

“It is terrific to see 8 Vanuatu based players gaining selection, several of whom toured this year for the Vanuatu-South Sea Invitational team.”

“I am excited and very proud to be captaining this side; especially against our brothers from the Solomon Islands in honour of 150 Year Anniversary of our Black Birded ancestors.”

Players returning to the national team that competed against Greece last year include Javarn White, Josh Tanner, Samuela Loaloadravu, Joe Meninga, Jason Pakoasongi, Ben Titoko and Kalpat Steedman.  Loaloadravu will take over the captains role in the absence of James Wood who has been ruled out due to injury. Melbourne Storm flyer Justin O’Neill and Alehana Mara (NZ Warriors) have also been ruled out due to injury.

The full team for Saturdays international against Solomon Islands is:

1. Javarn White

2. Alex Phillip

3. Jason Pakoasongi

4. Alex Marango

5. Sweeney Sablan

6. Rob Franklin

7. Joshua Tanner

8. Sam Pierce

9. Anthony Delaivuna

10. Kalpat Steedman

11. Joey Meninga

12. Ben Titoko

13. Samuela Loaloadravu

14. Robbie Congoo

15. Tonny Lui

16. Geoffrey Kausei

17. Jean-Pierez Kenie

18. Erick Tosusu

Coach: David Simpson

Those attending the game are encouraged to pre-purchase tickets before the game through Mackay Entertainment Convention Centre by siting in person (Alfred Street, Mackay), calling on +61 7 4961 9777 or online at www.mackayecc.com.au. Tickets can also be purchased at the ground at Virgin Australia Stadium on the day from 3.00pm, with the first of three matches at 4pm with the test match set to commence at 6.30pm.

Follow the Vanuatu Rugby League Facebook page to be kept up to date with the latest team news.