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Sport Former Wallaby Timani in Tongan squad for northern tour

11:26  14 october  2021
11:26  14 october  2021 Source:   afp.com

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Former Wallabies flanker Lopeti Timani was named Thursday in the Tonga team for their upcoming northern tour to play Scotland, England, the French Barbarians and Romania. Tongan -born Timani , a loose forward, played 12 matches for Australia in 2016 and is currently with the French club Toulon. He became eligible to switch countries at Test level after representing Tonga in Sevens at an Olympics qualifying tournament earlier this year. He is one of 10 new faces in the squad of 40 which also includes Perpignan wing Afusipa Taumoepeau who previously played Super Rugby for both the ACT

Former Wallaby Sitaleki Timani has been red-carded in his Top 14 clash for Clermont against Castres over the weekend after committing a bizarre retaliation. Kockott fell to the ground in a soccer-style Hollywood act, grabbing the back of his head while the slap sparked a brawl in the in-goal between the two teams. After the commotion was over Kockott received a yellow card for his actions while Timani was red-carded. The bizarre action and reaction is not something often seen on a rugby field, especially the unthinkable act of slapping an opponent in the face.

Former Wallabies flanker Lopeti Timani was named Thursday in the Tonga team for their upcoming northern tour to play Scotland, England, the French Barbarians and Romania.

Former Wallabies flanker Lopeti Timani has been named in the Tonga team for their upcoming tour © XAVIER LEOTY Former Wallabies flanker Lopeti Timani has been named in the Tonga team for their upcoming tour

Tongan-born Timani, a loose forward, played 12 matches for Australia in 2016 and is currently with the French club Toulon.

He became eligible to switch countries at Test level after representing Tonga in Sevens at an Olympics qualifying tournament earlier this year.

He is one of 10 new faces in the squad of 40 which also includes Perpignan wing Afusipa Taumoepeau who previously played Super Rugby for both the ACT Brumbies and Melbourne Rebels.

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Former Wallaby Timani in Tongan squad for northern tour . packing maximum sustained winds of 65 miles per hour.Additional "rapid weakening" is forecast as the centre of Pamela moves farther inland, said the NHC.Through Thursday, the storm is forecast to produce 4 to 8 inches of rain, with isolated maximum totals of 12 inches, across Sinaloa and western Durango state and northern Nayarit state, which could trigger significant and life-threatening.

Born in Tonga , Timani got a scholarship to Auckland Grammar School, but ultimately ended up in Australia after unsuccessfully trying out for the New Zealand Schoolboys team. Growing up, Timani followed the Wallabies , especially their players of Tongan heritage. Tongan officials were keen to secure his services, with his older brother and fellow lock Sione, 26, having already played three Tests for that nation, but Timani said choosing Australia wasn’t a difficult decision. “I got a phone call on Thursday night, from ( Wallabies ’ coach) Robbie Deans, so It wasn’t too hard, I came over straight

Former All Blacks midfielder Malakai Fekitoa also played in the Sevens tournament to meet the criteria to change countries but missed selection after suffering a shoulder injury last month while playing for Wasps in the English Premiership.

The Tonga squad has been drawn from teams in 10 countries with most of them based in Europe as Covid-19 travel restrictions made it difficult to include players from Australia and New Zealand.

Tonga Rugby Union chief executive Peter Harding said coach Toutai Kefu and manager Lano Fonua had done "a great job putting this squad together" although not all players would be available for selection for all four matches.

There may yet be changes depending on flights, managed isolation arrangements and contract negotiations, and the Scotland fixture was outside the release window.

"This has taken some negotiation with clubs, undertaken by Toutai and Lano, and this has to date been successful," Harding said.

"Clubs have been good to deal with and I want to thank the French Rugby Federation for their assistance."

Kefu will not travel with the team as he continues his recovery after being stabbed by intruders at his Brisbane home in August.

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