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Shark against Shark in Aust-Tonga clash

Sharks stars Wade Graham and Andrew Fifita will put friendships and club allegiances aside when the Kangaroos play the Tongan Invitational side at Eden Park in Auckland on Saturday.

Graham is set to again come off the bench and play a utility role for Australia, while the Tongans will look for Fifita to lead from the front as the Pacific nation looks for another upset result after beating the Great Britain side last weekend.

The Australia v Tonga clash is one of three international fixtures in Auckland on Saturday, with four Sharks players in all taking part.

In addition to Graham and Fifita, Ronaldo Mulitalo will make his debut for Samoa who tackle Fiji, while Briton Nikora has retained his place in the Kiwi side to play Great Britain.

For Mulitalo, it will continue his remarkable rookie season, with the young Shark debuting in the NRL, playing a role in Newtown’s success in the Canterbury Cup, before being called into the USA team at the World Nines due to his American Samoan heritage.

Mulitalo will now play fullback for Samoa against the Fijians in a match which kicks off the afternoon at 12.20pm (Sydney time).

As for Nikora, he was the only one of the three Sharks in the New Zealand side to survive after the Kiwis were comprehensively beaten by Australia last weekend.

Shaun Johnson has made way for Kieran Foran in the halves for the Kiwis, while Braden Hamlin-Uele was squeezed out of the 17 due to the return of Joseph Tapine, the Raiders lock added to the starting team and Leeson Ah Mau moving back to the interchange bench.

The New Zealand v Great Britain game is scheduled to get under way at 3.00pm, with the Kangaroos and Tonga to follow at 5.40pm. All times are AEDST.  

See the link to the NRL.com website CLICK HERE for more team and game information.