Tier 2 and the Premiership

Now the World Cup is teetering on the brink of the end (*sob*), we can begin to turn our focus back to our clubs, with most of the major European leagues now under way (*yay*).

One of the hot topics during the WC was the growth, performances and interactions of the Tier 2 nations. The gap is closing, fairly rapidly in some cases, and many more Tier 2 players are playing prominent roles in club sides around Europe.

In this post I’ll give a list of the Tier 2 nationals playing in the Aviva Premiership, and hopefully follow up with reports of where/how they’ve played over the course of the season. Players in ITALICS are new signings!

If you spot any I’ve missed, let me know!

Bath (2)

Alafoti Fa’osiliva (Samoa) – Flanker
Nikola Matawalu (Fiji) – Scrum-half

Exeter Chiefs (2)

Elvis Taione (Tonga) – Hooker
Chrysander Botha (Namibia) – Fullback

Gloucester (2)

Sione Kalamafoni (Tonga) – Flanker
David Halaifonua (Tonga) – Wing

Harlequins (2)

Netani Talei (Fiji) – Flanker
Winston Stanley (Samoa) – Centre

Leicester Tigers (6)

Logovi’i Mulipola (Samoa) – Prop
Aniseko Sio (Samoa)* – Prop
SioOpeti Fonua (Tonga) – Number 8
Seremaia Bai (Fiji) – Centre
Vereniki Goneva (Fiji) – Wing
Telusa Veainu (Tonga) – Wing

*Promoted from Academy

London Irish (5)

Halani Aulika (Tonga) – Prop
Leo Halavatua (Tonga) – Prop
Jebb Sinclair (Canada) – Flanker
Ofisa Treviranus (Samoa) – Flanker
Asaeli Tikoirotuma (Fiji) – Centre

Newcastle Falcons (9)

Eric Fry (USA) – Prop
Taione Vea (Tonga) – Prop
Todd Clever (USA) – Flanker
Nili Latu (Tonga) – Flanker
Kane Thompson (Samoa) – Flanker
Sonatane Takulua (Tonga) – Scrum-half
Anitelea Tuilagi (Samoa) – Centre
Sinoti Sinoti (Samoa) – Wing
Alesana Tuilagi (Samoa) – Wing

Northampton Saints (4)

Kahn Fotuali’i (Samoa) – Scrum-half
George Pisi (Samoa) – Centre
Ken Pisi (Samoa) – Wing
Ahsee Tuala (Samoa) – Fullback

Sale Sharks (7)

Max Cobilas (Moldova) – Prop
Vadim Cobilas (Moldova) – Prop
Andrei Ostrikov (Russia) – Lock
TJ Ioane (Samoa) – Flanker
Vilami Fihaki (Tonga) – Number 8
Johnny Leota (Samoa) – Centre
Phil Mackenzie (Canada) – Wing

Saracens (5)

Titi Lamositele (USA) – Prop
Hayden Smith (USA) – Lock
Jacques Burger (Namibia) – Flanker
BurgerCatalin Fercu (Romania) – Wing
Chris Wyles (USA) – Wing

Wasps (4)

James Johnston (Samoa) – Prop
Nathan Hughes (Fiji) – Number 8 (qualifies for England in 2016!)
Alapati Leiua (Samoa) – Centre
Sailosi Tagicakibau (Samoa) – Wing

Worcester Warriors (4)

Na’ama Leleimalefaga (Samoa) – Prop
Val Rapava-Ruskin (Georgia) – Prop
Tevita Cavubati (Fiji) – Lock
Ravai Fatiaki (Fiji) – Centre

Of these players, the following played at the weekend:

Harlequins v Wasps

W = Nathan Hughes
HughesW = Sailosi Tagicakibau (replacement on 59mins)

Worcester v Northampton

W = Na’ama Leleimalefaga

N = Ken Pisi
N = Kahn Fotuali’i (replacement on 60mins)
N = George Pisi (replacement on 41mins)

Newcastle v Gloucester

N = Taione Vea
N = Todd Clever
CleverN = Sinoti Sinoti
N = Eric Fry (replacement after 44mins)

G = Sione Kalamafoni (replacement after 58mins)

Bath v Exeter

B = Alafoti Fa’osiliva
B = Nikola Matawalu (replacement after 46mins)

Saracens v Sale

Sar = Titi Lamositele (replacement after 63mins)

Sal = Vadim Cobilas (replacement after 50mins)

London Irish v Leicester

LI = Halani Aulika
LI = Leo Halavatua (replacement after 56mins)
LI = Jebb Sinclair (TRY)
L = Logovi’i Mulipola
L = Opeti Fonua (replacement after 57mins)
L = Seremaia Bai

Hopefully, as the season progresses, I’ll be able to add a bit more insight and detail about many of these players and we can see which ones grab the headlines!


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