Having to rely on a play-off win against Germany, Samoa found it very tough to qualify for Japan

Samoa Rugby World Cup Fixtures, Squad, Group, Guide

It wouldn’t be a Rugby World Cup without Samoa but they found it tough to qualify. Having been overtaken by Pacific rivals Fiji and Tonga, they had to get through a two-legged play-off against Germany.

They started their tournament with a win against Russia but lost their other three pool matches.

How They Qualified

After coming third in the Pacific Tri-Nations behind Fiji and Tonga, Samoa had to go into a play-off with Germany to secure their qualification for the tournament. Over the two legs the islanders proved too strong and secured an aggregate win of 108-43 to go into Group A.

Key Players

Back-rowers Jack Lam and Piula Faasalele will be central to Samoa’s uncompromising defence. Chris Vui – the man who guided Samoa through their World Cup qualifiers – adds leadership to the group. In the backs, Melani Matavao is a livewire at scrum-half and look out for the footwork of Tim Nanai-Williams.

Rampant: Forward Jack Lam for Samoa (Getty Images)

The Coach – Steve Jackson

The former New Zealand Maori lock, who played for Auckland, North Harbour and Southland, was appointed Samoa head coach in September 2018. He has coaching experience with Massey, Tasman, Counties Manukau, North Harbour and Super Rugby franchise the Blues. He describes himself as a “players’ coach”, pointing to the importance of building connections with all the individuals in the squad so he knows how to help them perform.

Top man: Steve Jackson is the Samoa coach (Getty Images)

Major Work-ons

They have incredible power but can they direct it? Team cohesion is key. And that is not helped with a lot of Samoan talent playing club rugby in Europe rather than at the World Cup.

Samoa Rugby World Cup Warm-ups

  • Saturday 27 July 2019: Samoa 25-17 Tonga
  • Saturday 3 August 2019: USA 13-10 Samoa
  • Saturday 10 August 2019: Fiji 10-3 Samoa
  • Saturday 7 September 2019: Australia 34-15 Samoa

Related: 2019 Rugby World Cup Warm-ups

Samoa Rugby World Cup Group

Samoa are in Group A alongside Ireland, Scotland, Japan and Russia.

Related: 2019 Rugby World Cup Groups

Samoa Rugby World Cup Kit

Samoa Rugby World Cup Fixtures

Physical: Ireland last played the big Samoans in 2013 (Getty Images)

Samoa Rugby World Cup Squad

Samoa have named their Rugby World Cup squad below;

Forwards (17):
Afaesetiti Amosa
TJ Ioane
Jack Lam
Piula Faasalele
Josh Tyrell
Chris Vui
Teofilo Paulo
Kane Leaupepe
Senio Toleafoa
Michael Alaalatoa
Paul Alo-Emile
James Lay
Jordan Lay
Logovi’i Mulipola
Motu Matu’u
Ray Niuia
Seilala Lam

Backs (14):
Ed Fidow
Tim Nanai-Williams
Ah See Tuala
Belgium Tuatagaloa
Henry Taefu
Alapati Leiua
Reynold Lee-Lo
Kieron Fonotia
AJ Alatimu
Tusi Pisi
Ulupano Seuteni
Dwayne Polotaivao
Melani Matavao
Scott Malolua (replaced by Pele Cowley on 9 September after dislocating his shoulder)

Related: 2019 Rugby World Cup Fixtures

Previous World Cup Results and Record

Samoa’s Rugby World Cup Record: P32 W13 D0 L19

  • 1991 Quarter-finals
  • 1995 Quarter-finals
  • 1999 Quarter-final play-offs
  • 2003 Pool stages
  • 2007 Pool stages
  • 2011 Pool stages
  • 2015 Pool stages
  • 2019 Pool stages

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