December 10, 2023

Former All Blacks trio, ex-Wallabies star included in star-studded Samoa squad

Former All Blacks trio, ex-Wallabies star included in star-studded Samoa squad

Former All Blacks Charlie Faumuina, Steven Luatua, and Lima Sopoaga have been named in a star-studded Samoa squad.

Like Tonga, Samoa have capitalised on the newly relaxed eligibility laws, that allow the selection of players previously capped by other nations folllowing a three-year standdown period.

Ex-Blues prop Faumuina played 50 tests for New Zealand, and won a World Cup in 2015. He currently plays for Toulouse in France.

Meanwhile, former Blues teammate Steven Luatua was capped on 15 occasions by the All Blacks, and is currently captain of the Bristol Bears in England.

Super Rugby winner Sopoaga played 18 tests for New Zealand, and is contracted to Lyon in France, after previously amassing 88 appearances for the Highlanders.

The trio won’t be the only familiar faces to Kiwi rugby fans, with one-test All Black Jeff Toomaga-Allen joining the likes of Tim Nanai-Williams and Jordan Taufua.

Former Wallabies first-five Christian Leali’ifano is another big name included in the squad, having last played for Australia in 2019.

Ex-Highlanders and Otago stalwart Seilala Mapusua has been coach of Samoa since 2020.

Samoa squad: 

Forwards: Michael Ala’alatoa, Brian Alainu’uese, Paul Alo-Emile, Michael Curry, So’otala Fa’aso’o, Miracle Fai’ilagi, Charlie Faumuina, Jack Lam, Seilala Lam, Titi Lamositele, Jordan Lay, Fritz Lee, Genesis Mamea-Lemalu, Steven Luatua, Sama Malolo, Theo McFarland, Alamanda Motuga, Ray Niuia, Taleni Seu, Samuel Slade, Jordan Taufua, Luteru Tolai, Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, Tietie Tuimauga, Chris Vui.

Backs: Nigel Ah Wong, Ereatara Enari, Neria Fomai, Stacey Ili, Christian Leali’ifano, D’angelo Leuila, Tumua Manu, Melani Matavao, Tim Nanai-Williams, Duncan Paia’aua, UJ Seuteni, Lima Sopoaga, Martini Talapusi, Jonathan Taumateine, Danny Toala.

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