Somoa send in the heavies

Samoa have named an impressive squad, utilising all their overseas-based players including the likes of Census Johnston, for their tour of South Africa next month.

Buoyed by the IRB’s help in securing their overseas-based players for the tour, coach Stephen Betham will bring probably the strongest squad ever assembled outside a World Cup to these shores for the four nation tournament involving the Springboks, Italy and Scotland.

Alesana Tuilagi, Census Johnston and former Blues fullback Paul Williams are all there, as are the Pisi brothers – George and Tusi. Other Super Rugby players include Hurricanes flank Jack Lam, hooker Manu Leiataua and ‘Canes winger Alapati Leiua.

A captain has yet to be finalised.

The Samoans start their tour with a friendly match against the Lions at Ellis Park, then play both Italy and Scotland in curtain-raisers to Springbok Tests in June, and depending on how they do, may well face the Springboks in the third game of the quadrangular on June 22.

Samoan squad to tour South Africa:

Hookers: Ti’i Paulo (Clermont), Wayne Ole Avei (Bordeaux Beagles), Manu Leiataua (North Harbour)

Props: Census Johnston (Toulouse), Logovi’i Mulipola (Leicester Tigers), Sakaria Taulafo (London Wasp), James Johnston (Harlequins)

Locks: Kane Thompson (Canon Eagles), Iosefa Tekori (Castres), Daniel Leo (Perpignan), Teofilo Paulo (Cardiff Blues)

Loose forwards: Taiasina Tuifua (Newcastle Falcons), Alafoti Faosiliva (Bristol), Ofisa Treviranus (London Irish), Jack Lam (Hurricanes), Maurie Fa’asavalu (Harlequins), Fa’alemiga Selesele (Moata’a, Samoa), TBC

Scrumhalves: Kahn Fotuali’i (Ospreys), Jeremy Su’a (Crusaders), Auvasa Faleali’i (Newcastle, Australia)

Flyhalves: Tusi Pisi (Hurricanes/Suntory Sungoliath), Ki Anufe (Auckland)

Centres: George Pisi (Northampton Saints), Johnny Leota (Sale Sharks), Isaia Tuifua (Vigo, Spain), Brandon Va’aulu (Tokyo)

Wings: Alesana Tuilagi (NTT Shining Arcs), Alapati Leiua (Hurricanes), Robert Lilomaiava (Vaiala, Samoa), TBC

Fullbacks: Paul Williams (Stade Francais), James So’oialo (Wellington).


Management team:

1. Head Coach – Stephen Betham

2. Team Manager – Namulauulu Sami Leota

3. Assistant Coach Backs – Darryl Suasua

4. Assistant Coach Forwards – Gregory Smith

5. Scrum Coach – Michael Casey