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Former All Black named in Manu Samoa touring squad

By Talaia Mika

APIA, SAMOA – 05 OCTOBER 2022: Former All Black Steven Luatua is among eight debutants named in the Manu Samoa Northern Hemisphere touring squad announced in Apia this afternoon.

It is the first Northern Hemisphere Tour for a Samoan side since 2019 and since Vaovasamanaia Seilala Mapusua took over as Head Coach.

The tour features three Test matches against Italy on November 5 in Padua, Georgia on November 12 in Tbilisi, and Romania on November 19 in Bucharest.

Vaovasamanaia is looking forward to using the tour as part of the build-up to the Rugby World Cup 2023 in France on the back of winning the 2022 World Rugby Pacific Nations Cup in Fiji this past July.

“The Northern Hemisphere tour will provide plenty of challenges with three very tough test matches against quality opponents. We will look to build on the success of the Pacific Nations Cup win and keep developing how we want to play, whilst also having a good look at our talent pool for our RWC2023 team selection,” said Vaovasamanaia.

“We do not have many test matches to prepare for rugby’s pinnacle event so we are maximising on every opportunity that presents itself.”

There is a balanced mix of young and experienced players with two local players rewarded for their strong performances in local competitions. The majority of the team are northern based, and includes eight uncapped players making their debut for Samoa including Steven Luatua who is eligible under the recent change in World Rugby eligibility rules.

Vaovasamanaia Seilala Mapusua
Vaovasamanaia Seilala Mapusua

Manu Samoa Head Coach, Vaovasamanaia Seilala Mapusua

With only six tests this year, the team looks to further build on the given matches.

“We are excited to be going on a what will be a difficult tour, especially after the disruptions and challenges over the past two years. This has been the most difficult team to select with the quality of players available. We are building some quality depth and I look forward to working with this group, Vaovasamanaia said.”

“I am thrilled for the opportunity for our Manu Samoa to end what has been a good yet tough year on a high. And as always, we appreciate all the support and encouragement from our people and supporters both here in Samoa and around the world,” he added.

The team is:

  1. Afaesetiti AMOSA Vailele, Fasitoo-tai
  2. Alapati LEIUA Malie, Patamea
  3. Brian ALAINUUESE * Satupaitea, Satuiatua
  4. Chris VUI Foailuga, Saasaai
  5. D’Angelo LEUILA Gataivai, Fagalii
  6. Danny TOALA Lotofaga, Faleasiu
  7. Des SEPULONA * Tuanai, Faleula
  8. Donald BRIGHOUSE Falelatai, Saleimoa
  9. Duncan PAIA’AUA * Satupaitea, Mutiatele
  10. Ereatara ENARI Vaiala, Nofoalii
  11. Fritz LEE Solosolo, Vailele
  12. Jeff TOOMAGA -ALLEN * Falelatai, Lefaga
  13. Joe PEREZ Vaigaga, Saleaula
  14. Jonathan TAUMATEINE Nofoalii, Satapuala
  15. Jordan LAY Safotu, Sasina
  16. Luteru TOLAI * Lefaga
  17. Manu LEIATAUA Manono, Safune
  18. Michael ALAALATOA (C) Fasitoo-uta, Matatufu
  19. Nephi LEATIGAGA Salelologa, Siumu
  20. Nigel AH WONG Alafua Vaiusu
  21. Rodney IONA Falelatai, Iva
  22. Sa Jordan TAUFUA Salailua, Neiafu
  23. Seilala LAM Malie, Gataivai
  24. Stacey ILI Fasitoo-uta, Satapuala
  25. Steven LUATUA * Saleimoa, Malie
  26. Talalelei GRAY * Saleufi, Vailoa
  27. Taleni SEU * Solosolo, Eva
  28. Theo MCFARLAND Moamoa, Salelologa
  29. Tomasi ALOSIO Saleimoa, Falefa
  30. Tumua MANU Afega, Sasina
  31. Ulupano Junior SEUTENI Samusu, Malie

Head Coach: Vaovasamanaia Seilala MAPUSUA
* Denotes New Caps

Manu Samoa Northern Hemisphere Tour 2022 – Schedule
5 Nov Manu Samoa vs Italy Padua, Italy
12 Nov Manu Samoa vs Georgia Tbilisi, Georgia
19 Nov Manu Samoa vs Romania Bucharest, Romania