Samoa name squad for All Blacks Test

2015-07-01 11:17
Tim Nanai-Williams (Getty Images)

Wellington - Samoa's 27-man squad for next week's historic one-off Test against New Zealand at Apia is heavy with overseas-based players.

The match line-up has yet to be confirmed, but London Irish flank Ofisa Treviranus was named captain last week, and is likely to combine in an experienced back row with France-based double international Maurie Fa'asavalu and Bristol No 8 Jack Lam.

Fa'asavalu played for Samoa in the 2003 Rugby World Cup, for Britain in rugby league, and switched back in time for the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

The Samoa squad announced by Tuilaepa Sa'ilele Malielegao, the Prime Minister and chairperson of the Samoa Rugby Union, is drawn from players based in England, France, Japan, New Zealand, and South Africa, highlighting the extent of the Samoan rugby diaspora.

At least 24 of the 27-man squad are permanently based overseas. Among the forwards, hooker Wayne Ole Avei plays in France for Bordeaux-Begles while, of the props, Viliamu Afatia is at Agen, Census Johnston at Toulouse, Anthony Perenise at Bristol, and Sakaria Taulafo at Stade Francais.

Lock Kane Thompson is with Newcastle in England, while among his fellow second-rowers Teofilo Paulo is with the Cardiff Blues and Joe Tekori with Toulouse.

Tusi Pisi, who is likely to start at flyhalf, is based in Japan with Suntory Sungoliath, and may combine with scrumhalf Kahn Fotuali'i, who plays at Northampton.

Fullback Tim Nanai-Williams plays for the Chiefs in Super Rugby while, of the wings, Alofa Alofa is with La Rochelle in France, Ken Pisi is with Northampton, and Alesana Tuilagi - brother of England centre Manu Tuilagi - is at Newcastle.

The broad professional experience should make the team competitive in Samoa's first-ever home Test against the All Blacks.

"In the forwards alone it's a big challenge for us as it's an opportunity, a one-off opportunity to play against the best," Fa'asavalu said.

The Samoa players have been in camp for some time preparing for the Test next Wednesday.

"It's about every player gelling together ... getting our plays right and the little things that help us make the improvement," Fa'asavalu said.

New Zealand are yet to name their line-up.

Samoa squad:

Wayne Ole Avei, Ma'atulimanu Leiataua, Viliamu Afatia, Census Johnston, Anthony Perenise, Sakaria Taulafo, Kane Thompson, Teofilo Paulo, Iosefa Tekori, Fa'atiga Lemalu, Alafoti Faosiliva, Jack Lam, Ofisa Treviranus (captain), Maurie Fa'asavalu, T.J. Ioane, Kahn Fotuali'i, Peleifofoga Cowley, Tusi Pisi, Michael Stanley, Alofa Alofa, Ken Pisi, Alesana Tuilagi, Faialaga Afamasaga, Johnny Leota, Paul Perez, Tim Nanai-Williams, Ah See Tuala

Read more on:    rugby

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Did Stormers and Springboks lock Pieter-Steph du Toit deserve to be named SA Rugby Player of the Year?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.