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2010-10-25 19:31

Nickname: Manu Samoa

Captain: Mahonri Schwalger

Coach: Fuimaono Tafua

RWC Appearances: 4 (First in 1991)

Best result: Quarter Finals in 1991 and 1995

Despite its tiny population and lowly ranking with the IRB, Samoa have developed a reputation for upsetting larger, more established sides at the Rugby World Cup.

The team played its first Test match against Fiji in 1929 and lost the match 6-0, but has since grown into one of the best sides in the world.

Manu Samoa, as the team are known, have competed in every Rugby World Cup besides the first and have always performed well.

In their debut Rugby World Cup in 1991, Samoa progressed from the group stage after recording victories over Wales (16-13) and Argentina (35-12) either side of a narrow loss to Australia (9-3).

However, their dream run ended when they were knocked out by Scotland (28-6) in the quarter-finals.

Samoa qualified for the semi-finals again, their second time in as many tournaments, at the 1995 World Cup in South Africa.

The Samoans beat Italy (42-18) and Argentina (32-26) in their first two group stage matches and lost their last to England (44-22), but still qualified for the knock-out stages.

Unfortunately for Samoa, their tournament ended in the quarter-finals after they lost to eventual champions South Africa (42-14).

Samoa won two and lost one of three of their group stage matches at their third World Cup in 1999, but did not progress to their quarter-finals due to an altered tournament structure.

They beat Japan (43-9) in their first game, lost their second game to Argentina (32-16) and beat Wales (38-31) in their pool matches, but subsequently lost a quarter-final play-off game to Scotland (35-20).

Manu Samoa were not as successful at the next two World Cups and did not qualify for the knock-out stages in either tournament.

At the 2003 tournament they beat Uruguay (60-13) and Georgia (46-9) with relative ease in their first two group games, but were knocked out after losing to eventual winners England (35-22) and South Africa (60-10).

Samoa were grouped with England and South Africa again, as well as Tong and the USA, at the 2007 tournament.

The team lost its first three matches, against South Africa (59-7), Tonga (19-15) and England 44-22, before scraping past the USA (25-21) in their final match to record their worst ever performance at a World Cup.

Since the 2007 tournament, Samoa’s form has increased drastically and their most recent match result, a 32-23 victory over Australia, proves they will be a much improved side.


Forwards: Ole Avei, Maurie Faasavalu, Census Johnston, Filipo Lavea Levi, Daniel Leo, Logovi'i Mulipola, Ti'i Paulo, Anthony Perenise, Manaia Salavea, Mahonri Schwalger, George Stowers, Sakaria Taulafo, Joe Tekori, Kane Thompson, Ofisa Treviranus, Taiasina Tuifua.

Backs: Kahn Fotuali'i, David Lemi, Johhny Leota, Seilala Mapusua, Eliota Sapolu Fuimaono, Tasesa Lavea, Augustino Poluleuligaga, George Pisi, Tusi Pisi, James So’oialo, Jeremy Sua, Sailosi Tagicakibau, Alesana Tuilagi, Paul Williams.

Key Player

George Pisi
Height: 1.85m
Weight: 98kgs

Blues and Samoan centre George Pisi is a young, up-and-coming firebrand who will look to deliver the standard big hits and piercing runs the typify Samoan rugby.


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