It taps into the island nation's complex musical heritage in a collaboration with an award-winning musical artist

Samoa’s Rugby World Cup song has been released, as the national team taps into the country’s musical heritage.

Centre Stage, co-written and performed by award-winning young Samoan artist Lesā Lani Alo, was released on Samoa’s social media channels recently.

Related:Samoa Rugby World Cup squad 2023

The video opens with the Manu Samoa team performing the siva tau, before Alo – who has rapidly become a musical hero for the nation – walks out on to the pitch at the national side’s home stadium, Apia Park.

Listen to Samoa’s Rugby World Cup song

It also features a cameo from former All Black turned Samoa assistant coach Tana Umaga.

Related: Yes, there is a Portugal Rugby World Cup song 

Alo’s debut single Alo i ou Faiva – which, like Centre Stage, was also written in partnership with collaborator Livingstone Efu – has become an unofficial anthem for Samoans living across the world since it was first released in 2019. Alo i ou Faiva captures the emotion of young people leaving the safety of home. Centre Stage urges Samoa’s players, in English and Samoan, to keep a cool head and choose their battles on and off the pitch carefully. 

If the song’s aim was to ignite the team’s spirit and set the tone for the country’s role in the tournament, it worked, if comments on the Manu Samoa Facebook page under the video are any indications. “This got me emotional,” one listener posted.

The Rugby World Cup 2023 tournament kicks off in France in early September, with the first match between the host nation and the All Blacks on September 8.

Samoa have been drawn in Pool D, where they will face Chile, Argentina, Japan, and England.

Related: History Of The Rugby World Cup Anthem World In Union

Samoa’s Pool D fixtures at Rugby World Cup

Saturday, September 16 – Samoa v Chile (2pm, Stade de Bordeaux)

Friday, September 22 – Argentina v Samoa (4.45pm, Stade Geoffroy-Guichard, Saint-Etienne)

Thursday, September 28 – Japan v Samoa (8pm, Stadium de Toulouse)

Saturday, October 7 – England v Samoa (4.45pm, Stade Pierre-Mauroy, Lille)

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