Latu ready for Georgian forwards

Date published: September 18 2015

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Tonga captain Nili Latu is braced for Saturday's physical battle against Georgia in their opening Rugby World Cup match.

Latu's side last faced Georgia in 2014, coming away with a comfortably 23-9 win, and the powerful flanker is ready for a tough battle upfront.

“Our understanding is they have a strong pack so it’s something that we’ve been working really hard building up for the World Cup to match their forward pack. It’s going to be one of those games tomorrow," said Latu.

"It’s going to be a forward battle and hopefully our backs will finish off the game for us.

"From one to 23, they're all the same. That's the strength of that team, rather than the individual so if my team can conquer that they will come out with the victory.

“For me we have to take players one to 23 seriously, but the main thing is the strength of a team. I think we have a very strong team and that is key, which is why I am confident that we will win tomorrow.”

Latu also opened up on the effect performing Tonga's haka, the sipi tau, would have on the side before kick-off.

"The sipi tau is really important part of our culture and our rugby team, and we believe that according to our ancestors that God gives us strength.

"It's a pump-up for us and that's the advantage of doing the sipi tau. We get to let a little bit of steam out before the whistle goes, and it's something we hold close to our heart."

Tonga's squad have been enjoying their stay in Gloucester ahead of Saturday's game, and namely one restaurant in particular.

"I'm hoping to get a sponsorship from Nando's. I'm there every day but the price keeps going up. The people of Gloucestershire have been great."

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