Wallabies pick 52 percent Islanders

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Wallaby centre Samu Kerevi has been named the vice captain for the World Cup. Photo: Rugby Australia

The Wallabies have named 52 percent; 16 players from the Pacific Islands last Friday in their 31 man squad for the Rugby World Cup in Japan which kicks off on September 20.

The majority of the Pacific islands is the seven from Samoa; Allan Alaalatoa, Scott Sio, Christian Lealilifano, Jordan Petaia, Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, Jordan Uelese and Matt To’omua.

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Prop Scott Sio of Samoan descent has been named for the Wallabies squad for Japan. Photo: Rugby Australia

The four of Tongan descent are Taniela Tupou, Sekope Kepu, Tolu Latu and Folau Fainga’a while the four Fijians; Samu Kerevi, Marika Koroibete, Tevita Kuridrani and Isi Naisarani.

The lone Papua New Guinean is veteran halfback Wil Genia.
The number of Pacific Islanders is over represented when we take a look at the 2016 Australian census of the populations of islanders; Samoans number 75,753; Tongans at 32,695; Fijians at 37,003 and Papua New Guineans at 18,802 at a total of 164,253. The Australian population at the census stood at 23,401,892.

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Halfback Wil Genia has been named in the Wallabies lineup for Japan next month. Photo: Stuff

The 16 Pacific Islands represents 0.7 percent of the Australian population yet make up 52 percent of the Wallabies squad speaks volumes of the success the Pacific Islanders taking part at the National Rugby Championship and Super Rugby level.

The Wallabies open their World Cup campaign against Fiji at the Sapporo Dome on September 21.

Backs: Kurtley Beale, Dane Haylett-Petty, Reece Hodge, Marika Koroibete, Jordan Petaia, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Tevita Kuridrani, James O’Connor, Samu Kerevi, Matt Toomua, Christian Lealiifano, Bernard Foley, Nic White, Will Genia
Forwards: Isi Naisarani, Jack Dempsey, Michael Hooper (c), David Pocock, Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, Rory Arnold, Izack Rodda, Adam Coleman, Rob Simmons, Allan Alaalatoa, Taniela Tupou, Sekope Kepu, Scott Sio, James Slipper, Tolu Latu, Folau Fainga’a, Jordan Uelese

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Folau Fainga’a will play hooker for the Wallabies during the Rugby World Cup. Photo: Rugby Australia

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Filed under Australia, Fijian players, Pacific Islanders, Walabies, World Rugby Cup

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