Rugby union has been played in American Samoa since the 1920s, but no governing body existed for the sport for more than 60 years thereafter. When American football was introduced to high schools in the 1970s it became the dominant game, while rugby union was only played in village competitions.
The ASRU was formally incorporated in 1990, but it took more than 20 years before the union applied for full membership of the IRB in 2011. The Executive Council of the IRB granted American Samoa full membership in 2012.
American Samoa's national team, known as the Talavalu, has not competed in a Rugby World Cup but has competed at the South Pacific Games, including winning a silver medal for rugby 15's in 1991. American Samoa fields teams in 7's competitions as well as 15's.