Manu Samoa

Samoa back radical re-think of 2025 Lions tour to Australia

Mapusua, the Samoa head coach, wants to ensure his country is included in the proposed schedule after Rugby Australia chairman Hamish McLennan failed to mention them when putting forward the idea of Pacific Islands fixtures.

McLennan only name checked Fiji and Tonga despite Samoa having recently qualified for the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France by defeating Tonga in two matches.

Mapusua told RugbyPass: “I hope we haven’t done something to upset Rugby Australia because we would want to be involved in any fixtures for the Pacific Islands nations against the Lions.”

Samoa seal Rugby World Cup qualification over Tonga

The Manu led by 20 points early in the second half but withstood a determined 'Ikale Tahi comeback to prevail 79-28 on aggregate over two legs, following last weekend's 42-13 victory in Auckland.

With their place in France now confirmed, how is coach Seilala Mapusua feeling?

"The first word that comes to mind is relieved, a little bit of satisfaction and a hint of excitement," he said post match.

Samoa outclass Tonga in five-try win

After a physical but low-scoring first half, Samoa took a 6-3 lead into the break, with two Henry Taefu penalties offset by one from Tongan halfback Sonatane Takulua.

Taefu slotted another penalty soon after the restart, then hooker Ray Niuia was on hand out wide to finish some strong running and slick passing with Samoa's first try.

Five minutes later flanker Alamanda Motuga crashed over from close range to extend Samoa's lead to 21-3, only for Tonga to hit back almost immediately with a try to replacement flanker Villami Taulani.

Manu Samoa prepared to face a determined Ikale Tahi

And the Manu Samoa side is very much aware of this determination.

While it was a one-sided affair against 'Ikale Tahi last weekend, Manu Samoa coach Vaovasamanaia Seilala Mapusua isn't underestimating the Tongan side, with the likes of Ben Tameifuna and Sam Vaka being added to the squad this week.

Being a Māori All Black means more than just the game

While the game will be played without fans it will still have a big impact on the players.

For some of the Māori players it might be the highest honour they achieve and it also gives them another chance to connect with their heritage.

And for Samoa it's a chance for the side to get together, something that doesn't happen often enough.

A win over the 2005 British and Irish Lions would go down as one of the Māori All Blacks most memorable victories in recent years, along with wins over Ireland and England.

Samoa cover tattoos at Rugby World Cup as sign of respect for Japan

But the cover up will only go so far, it has been revealed.

The Samoan players will wear skin suits after the team consulted a Japanese cultural expert.

Captain Jack Lam said: “We had someone coming in and giving us a heads-up about what we could expect in Japan.

“There’s a lot of similarities in our cultures but when it comes to the tattoos we have obviously got a lot of tattoos, it’s quite normal in our culture.

“But we are respectful and mindful to what the Japanese way is. We will be making sure that what we are showing will be OK.”

Lam seeing straight after injury and focusing on Samoan record

Just over a week after a knock from a team-mate damaged his eye, Samoa's Jack Lam has fully recovered his sight.

In his team's final warm-up match against Australia on 7 September, the Manu Samoa captain took a blow from Alapati Leiua during a tackle. He had to leave the field, fearing that his participation at a second World Cup could be in danger.

"I was seeing about 30 different Wallabies players at the time, so I was a bit of a liability to my team. I had to make a call and come off the field," Lam said.

Wallabies invited to play Manu in Samoa

The Australians defeated Manu Samoa 34-15 in Parramatta on Saturday, in the final test for both countries before departing to the Rugby World Cup in Japan.

Samoa's Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, made the invitation to the Australian PM, Scott Morrison, during bilateral talks between the two leaders in Sydney over the weekend.

Wallabies spots still up for grabs following Samoan scare

Australia wrapped up their pre-World Cup Test campaign with a 34-15 win over Samoa in Sydney on Saturday.

A good first-half display, which was rewarded with a 22-3 halftime lead, was offset by an unconvincing second-half performance, with Samoa scoring the first 12 points, before two late tries pushed the home side clear.

Cheika said the game had been a really good hit out for the Wallabies, who now have a 3-2 record this year.

Wallabies rest big guns against Manu Samoa

Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, Adam Coleman and Marika Koroibete are the only three players to retain their starting spots from the side thrashed 36-0 by the All Blacks three weeks ago.

Flanker David Pocock will captain the Wallabies on his return from injury, with regular skipper Michael Hooper among those to miss the game as coach Michael Cheika takes a safety-first approach before Japan.