Samoa’s national rugby union team has been announced in the lead-up to this year’s world cup and sheesh they’ve got some talent.
Former All-Blacks Charlie Faumuina, Steven Luatua and Lima Sopoaga will all represent Samoa on the field this year.
Faumuina played 50 tests in the black jersey and even won a World Cup for New Zealand in 2015. Sopaga and Luatua played 18 and 15 matches for the All Blacks, respectively.
Christian Leali’ifano, the former Wallabies first five, is also a part of the Samoan squad.
Another familiar name in the team is Tim Nanai Williams, an electric back who made his mark in Super Rugby with the Chiefs and also played for the New Zealand Sevens team.
Such big names can play for Samoa thanks to the new eligibility laws that came into effect in 2021. Previously, players could only play for one national team throughout their careers.
The new rule allows for an additional national team if the player can prove they or their parents or grandparents were born in the new country.
The squad will be refined before the World Cup begins in September this year, but damn is it looking electric right now. Samoa is in Pool D and will play against England, Japan, Argentina, and Chile during the first stages of the tournament.
Samoa’s Rugby World Cup warm-up 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.