Fotuali'i set to captain Samoa

Fotuali'i set to captain Samoa
Kahn Fotuali'i. Picture: INPHO

Injury-hit Samoa will be without five frontline stars for Saturday’s opening autumn international clash with Ireland at the Aviva Stadium.

Northampton scrum-half Kahn Fotuali’i will captain coach Stephen Betham’s side, with Stade Francais centre Gavin Williams ruled out.

Harlequins flanker Maurie Fa’asavalu, Worcester wing David Lemi, Perpignan back-row forward Dan Leo and Toulouse’s cornerstone tighthead prop Census Johnston are the other absentees.

Powerful Leicester tighthead Logovi’i Mulipola steps into Johnston’s berth, for an intriguing tussle with Ireland debutant loosehead Jack McGrath.

The Irish Rugby Football Union confirmed a minute’s silence before kick off to mark the death of legendary Samoa prop Peter Fatialofa earlier this week.

Samoa: Faatoina Autagavaia; Alapati Leuia, George Pisi, Johnny Leota, Brando Vaaulu; Tusi Pisi, Kahn Fotuali’i; Sakaria Taulafo, Ole Avei, Logovi’i Mulipola; Faatiga Lemalu, Teofilo Paulo; Ofisa Treviranus, Jack Lam, Taiasina Tuifua. Replacements: Tii Paulo, Viliamu Afatia, James Johnston, Joe Tekori, Alafoti Faosilivia, Jeremy Sua, Isaia Tuifua, Fautua Otto.

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