Samoa national rugby union team

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Samoa
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s)Manu Samoa
EmblemSouthern cross
UnionSamoa Rugby Union
Head coachSteve Jackson
CaptainJack Lam
Most capsBrian Lima (65)
Top scorerTusi Pisi (245)
Top try scorerBrian Lima (31)
Home stadiumApia Park
First colours
Second colours
World Rugby ranking
Current15 (as of 13 Oct 2019)
Highest7 (2013)
Lowest17 (2018)
First international
Samoa 0–6 Fiji
(Apia, Samoa; 18 August 1924)
Biggest win
Samoa 115–7 Papua New Guinea
(Apia, Samoa; 11 July 2009)
Biggest defeat
New Zealand 101–14 Samoa
(New Plymouth, New Zealand; 3 September 2008)
World Cup
Appearances7 (First in 1991)
Best resultQuarter-finals, 1991 and 1995
Websitewww.manusamoa.com

The Samoa national rugby union team (also known as Manu Samoa) is governed by the Samoa Rugby Union. The name Manu Samoa is in honour of a famous Samoan warrior. They perform a traditional Samoan challenge called the siva tau before each game. Samoa Rugby Union were formerly members of the Pacific Islands Rugby Alliance (PIRA) along with Fiji and Tonga.[1] They are ranked 15th in the world.[2]

Rugby was introduced to Samoa in the early 1920s and a governing body was soon formed. The first international was played as Western Samoa against Fiji in August 1924. Along with Tonga, these nations would meet regularly and eventually contest competitions such as the Pacific Tri-Nations – with Western Samoa winning the first of these. From 1924 to 1997 Samoa was known as Western Samoa.

Samoa have been to every Rugby World Cup since the 1991 tournament. That tournament, along with the 1995 competition, saw them make the quarter-finals. Under their new coach, former New Zealand and Samoan international player Michael Jones, Samoa competed in the 2007 Rugby World Cup. However, Samoa had a dismal World Cup campaign, winning only one match and finishing fourth in their group. Samoa showed an improved performance at the 2011 Rugby World Cup, winning two matches by comfortable margins, and losing close matches to South Africa and Wales.

History[edit]

The Marist Brothers brought the game of rugby to Western Samoa in 1924 and The Western Samoa Rugby Football Union was formed in 1924. On 18 August 1924, Western Samoa played its first international against Fiji in the capital Apia, the visitors winning 6–0. The match was played at 7 am to allow the Samoans time to get to work afterwards and was played on a pitch with a large tree on the halfway line. The return match was won 9–3 by Samoa to draw the series.

In 1954 Western Samoan visited both Pacific Island neighbors Fiji and Tonga but had to wait a further 20 years before a tour of New Zealand took place. The Samoans won one of eight matches on that tour.

The traditional tri-series between Tonga, Fiji and Western Samoa was established in 1982 with Western Samoa winning the first tournament. Wales visited Western Samoa and won the test 32–16 at Apia. The tour led to a return visit to Wales which brought Western Samoa out of International limbo, although Western Samoa were not invited to the first Rugby World Cup in 1987.

The following year a 14-match tour of Europe took place before a World Cup elimination series in Tokyo, which gave Western Samoa a place in the 1991 Rugby World Cup in Britain. They made a huge impact. After sweeping aside Wales 16–13 in Cardiff and defeating Argentina 35–12, and narrowly losing 3–9 to eventual champions Australia in their pool match, Western Samoa, a country with a population of 160,000, found itself in the quarterfinals against Scotland at Murrayfield. The Scots won comfortably 28–6, but the Samoans were clearly the personality team of the tournament. One Welsh fan ruefully remarked after Wales's defeat, "It's a good job we weren't playing all of Samoa."

Over the next two years the side had a number of notable wins. The most outstanding achievement were in Sevens where it won the 1993 Hong Kong and 1992 Middlesex Sevens. The 1995 Rugby World Cup in South Africa proved that the team belonged in top company. They again reached the quarterfinals after wins over Argentina and Italy, but were beaten 42–14 by the eventual winners South Africa. After the Cup, Manu Samoa made a 13-match tour of England and Scotland, drawing 15–15 with the Scots and going down 27–9 to England.

With the advent of professional rugby in 1995 it was vital for Manu Samoa to develop a new administrative structure. This was made possible with Fay Richwhite and the Western Samoan Rugby Union joining forces to form Manu Samoa Rugby Limited. Fay Richwhite invested $5 million from 1995 to 2004 into Samoan rugby.[3][4]

Japan vs Samoa Rugby Match at Chichibunomiya Stadium on 17 June 2012, which was won by Samoa 27-26

Samoa emerged from the 1999 World Cup with its honor intact after another shock 38–31 victory over host nation Wales in the pool stages. They again lost out to Scotland in the quarter final play-off.

Manu Samoa qualified for the 2003 World Cup with a 17–16 loss against Fiji, Earl Va'a missing an injury-time penalty. They recovered to beat Tonga both home and away and avenged that Fijian defeat with a 22–12 win in Nadi. They ultimately had to settle for second place in the round robin, behind Fiji on points difference, and a place in the tougher of the two Rugby World Cup 2003 pools alongside automatic qualifiers England and South Africa. In one of the games of the tournament, they led eventual champions England for most of the game before losing 35–22.

Samoa qualified for the 2011 World Cup after beating Papua New Guinea 73–12 in Port Moresby on 18 July 2009. They won 188–19 on aggregate over two matches against Papua New Guinea, having won 115–7 at Apia Park the previous week.[5]

Samoa began their 2011 World Cup campaign preparation with a flying start, after registering an upset against No.2 ranked Australia with a four-try-to-two win of 32–23.[6]

Financial problems[edit]

In November 2017, Samoa's prime minister and SRU chairman Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi announced that the organisation was bankrupt,[7] although those claims were denied by world governing body World Rugby.[8]

World Cup record[edit]

Samoa performing their Siva Tau before playing South Africa at the 2007 Rugby World Cup.
Year Result
1987 Not invited
1991 Quarterfinals
1995 Quarterfinals
1999 Quarterfinal play-offs
2003 Pool stage
2007 Pool stage
2011 Pool stage
2015 Pool stage
2019 Pool stage

In one of the scenes of the feature film, Invictus, Western Samoa can be seen playing South Africa in the 1995 Rugby World Cup.

Wins against Tier 1 nations[edit]

Overall record[edit]

Top 30 rankings as of 18 November 2019[9]
Rank Change* Team Points
1 Steady  South Africa 094.19
2 Steady  New Zealand 092.11
3 Steady  England 088.82
4 Steady  Wales 085.02
5 Steady  Ireland 084.45
6 Steady  Australia 081.90
7 Steady  France 080.88
8 Steady  Japan 079.28
9 Steady  Scotland 079.23
10 Steady  Argentina 078.31
11 Steady  Fiji 076.21
12 Steady  Italy 072.04
13 Steady  Tonga 071.44
14 Steady  Georgia 071.26
15 Steady  Samoa 070.72
16 Steady  Spain 068.15
17 Steady  United States 068.10
18 Steady  Uruguay 067.41
19 Steady  Romania 066.69
20 Steady  Russia 063.09
21 Increase  Hong Kong 061.25
22 Decrease  Canada 061.12
23 Decrease  Namibia 061.01
24 Decrease  Portugal 061.01
25 Steady  Brazil 058.89
26 Steady  Netherlands 058.46
27 Increase  Germany 056.26
28 Decrease  Belgium 055.74
29 Increase   Switzerland 054.41
30 Decrease  Chile 053.83
*Change from the previous week
Samoa's historical rankings
Samoa IRB World Rankings.png
Source: World Rugby - Graph updated to 18 November 2019[9]

Below is table of the representative rugby matches played by a Samoa national XV at test level up until 24 September 2019.[10]

Opponent Played Won Lost Drawn Win % For Aga Diff
 Argentina 4 3 1 0 75% 111 82 +29
 Australia 6 1 5 0 16.66% 73 238 −165
 Belgium 1 1 0 0 100.00% 37 8 +29
 Canada 6 6 0 0 100.00% 169 103 +66
 England 8 0 8 0 0.00% 114 292 -178
 Fiji 53 20 30 3 37.74% 921 1049 -128
 Fiji XV 3 0 3 0 0.00% 20 58 -38
 France 4 0 4 0 0.00% 49 156 -107
 Georgia 5 1 3 1 20.00% 115 91 +24
 Germany 2 2 0 0 100.00% 108 43 +65
 Ireland 6 1 5 0 16.67% 103 209 -106
 Italy 7 5 2 0 71.42% 175 109 +66
 Japan 15 11 4 0 73.33% 482 273 +209
 South Korea 1 1 0 0 100.00% 74 7 +67
 Namibia 2 2 0 0 100.00% 89 25 +64
 New Zealand 7 0 7 0 0.00% 72 411 -339
 Papua New Guinea 2 2 0 0 100.00% 188 19 +169
 Romania 2 0 2 0 0.00% 37 49 -12
 Scotland 11 1 9 1 9.09% 193 298 -105
 South Africa 9 0 9 0 0.00% 99 431 -332
 Russia 1 1 0 0 100.00% 34 9 +25
 Spain 1 1 0 0 100.00% 28 10 +18
 Tonga 65 34 27 4 51.56% 1144 973 +171
 United States 7 5 2 0 71.42% 156 128 +28
 Uruguay 1 1 0 0 100.00% 60 13 +47
 Wales 10 4 6 0 40.00% 180 235 -55
 West Germany 1 1 0 0 100.00% 54 9 +45
Total 240 104 127 9 43.33% 4885 5328 -443

Current squad[edit]

On 31 August, Samoa named a 31-man squad ahead of the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

On 10 September, Pele Cowley was called up as a replacement for Scott Malolua following a dislocated shoulder.[11]

On September 26, Alamanda Motuga joined the squad in Japan after Afa Amosa sustained an injury in Samoa's opening match.[12]

Note: Caps correct as of 12 October 2019

Player Position Date of birth (age) Caps Club/province
Seilala Lam Hooker (1989-02-18)18 February 1989 (aged 30) 15 France Perpignan
Motu Matu'u Hooker (1987-04-30)30 April 1987 (aged 32) 22 England London Irish
Ray Niuia Hooker (1991-10-14)14 October 1991 (aged 27) 7 New Zealand Highlanders
Michael Alaalatoa Prop (1991-08-28)28 August 1991 (aged 28) 4 New Zealand Crusaders
Paul Alo-Emile Prop (1991-12-22)22 December 1991 (aged 27) 16 France Stade Français
James Lay Prop (1993-12-16)16 December 1993 (aged 25) 11 England Bristol
Jordan Lay Prop (1992-11-05)5 November 1992 (aged 26) 19 England Bristol
Logovi'i Mulipola Prop (1987-03-11)11 March 1987 (aged 32) 32 England Newcastle Falcons
Kane Le'aupepe Lock (1992-12-03)3 December 1992 (aged 26) 9 New Zealand Hurricanes
Filo Paulo Lock (1987-11-06)6 November 1987 (aged 31) 36 Unattached
Senio Toleafoa Lock (1993-08-26)26 August 1993 (aged 26) 4 France Nevers
Josh Tyrell Lock (1990-10-16)16 October 1990 (aged 28) 10 France Oyonnax
Piula Fa'asalele Loose forward (1988-01-22)22 January 1988 (aged 31) 20 France Perpignan
TJ Ioane Loose forward (1989-05-09)9 May 1989 (aged 30) 24 England London Irish
Jack Lam (c) Loose forward (1987-11-18)18 November 1987 (aged 31) 37 Unattached
Alamanda Motuga 2 Loose forward (1994-09-11) 11 September 1994 (age 25) 1 New Zealand Manurewa RFC
Chris Vui Loose forward (1993-02-11)11 February 1993 (aged 26) 17 England Bristol
Pele Cowley Scrum-half (1993-04-16)16 April 1993 (aged 26) 14 New Zealand Ponsonby
Melani Matavao Scrum-half (1995-11-19)19 November 1995 (aged 23) 10 Aana Chiefs
Dwayne Polataivao Scrum-half (1990-07-30)30 July 1990 (aged 29) 16 Unattached
AJ Alatimu Fly-half (1993-03-25)25 March 1993 (aged 26) 6 Australia Western Force
Tusi Pisi Fly-half (1982-06-18)18 June 1982 (aged 37) 41 Japan Toyota Industries Shuttles
UJ Seuteni Fly-half (1993-12-09)9 December 1993 (aged 25) 5 France Bordeaux-Bègles
Kieron Fonotia Centre (1988-02-02)2 February 1988 (aged 31) 11 Wales Scarlets
Rey Lee-Lo Centre (1986-02-28)28 February 1986 (aged 33) 26 Wales Cardiff Blues
Henry Taefu Centre (1993-04-02)2 April 1993 (aged 26) 6 Australia Western Force
Ed Fidow Wing (1993-09-11)11 September 1993 (aged 26) 11 England Worcester Warriors
Alapati Leiua Wing (1988-09-21)21 September 1988 (aged 30) 30 England Bristol
Belgium Tuatagaloa Wing (1989-09-19)19 September 1989 (aged 30) 3 Unattached
Tim Nanai-Williams Fullback (1989-06-12)12 June 1989 (aged 30) 15 France Clermont Auvergne
Ahsee Tuala Fullback (1989-08-23)23 August 1989 (aged 30) 22 England Northampton Saints

Player records[edit]

Most caps[edit]

# Player Pos Span Mat Start Sub Won Lost Draw %
1 Brian Lima Wing 1991–2007 65 62 3 32 31 2 50.76
2 To'o Vaega Centre 1986–2001 61 56 5 35 25 1 58.19
3 Semo Sititi Flanker 1999–2009 59 50 9 33 26 0 55.93
4 Census Johnston Prop 2005–2017 57 43 14 25 31 1 44.73
5 David Lemi Wing 2004–2017 54 46 8 21 31 2 40.74
6 Zak Taulafo Prop 2009–2016 44 39 5 20 22 2 47.72
7 Opeta Palepoi Lock 1998–2005 43 30 13 24 19 0 55.81
8 Tusi Pisi Fly-half 2011– 42 38 4 15 26 1 36.90
Ofisa Treviranus Flanker 2009-2018 42 32 15 17 24 1 41.66
10 Mahonri Schwalger Hooker 2000–2011 40 33 7 18 22 0 45.00

Last updated: Ireland vs Samoa, 12 October 2019. Statistics include officially capped matches only.[13]

Most tries[edit]

# Player Pos Span Mat Start Sub Pts Tries
1 Brian Lima Wing 1991–2007 65 62 3 140 29
2 Alesana Tuilagi Wing 2002–2015 37 35 2 90 18
3 Semo Sititi Flanker 1999–2009 59 50 9 85 17
4 Afato So'oalo Wing 1996–2001 20 18 2 80 16
5 Lome Fa'atau Wing 2000–2007 35 31 4 70 14
To'o Vaega Centre 1986–2001 61 56 5 79 14
7 David Lemi Wing 2004–2017 54 46 8 65 13
8 Ed Fidow Wing 2018- 12 11 1 50 10
George Leaupepe Centre 1995–2005 26 23 3 50 10
10 Tupo Fa'amasino Centre 1988-1996 20 20 0 52 9
Alapati Leiua Centre 2013- 31 29 2 45 9
Elvis Seveali'i Centre 2000–2007 20 16 4 45 9

Last updated: Ireland vs Samoa, 12 October 2019. Statistics include officially capped matches only.[14]

Most points[edit]

# Player Pos Span Mat Pts Tries Conv Pens Drop
1 Tusi Pisi Fly-half 2011– 42 245 2 29 57 2
2 Earl Va'a Fly-half 1996–2003 28 174 3 33 31 0
3 Silao Leaega Fullback 1997–2002 19 145 2 21 31 0
4 Brian Lima Wing 1991–2007 65 140 29 0 0 0
5 Darren Kellett Fly-half 1993–1995 13 137 2 14 31 2
6 Roger Warren Fly-half 2004–2008 12 119 0 13 29 2
7 Gavin Williams Centre 2007–2010 16 106 5 18 15 0
8 Tanner Vili Fly-half 1999–2006 31 99 4 20 13 0
9 Alesana Tuilagi Wing 2002–2015 37 90 18 0 0 0
10 Andrew Aiolupo Fullback 1983–1994 37 89 3 21 11 0

Last updated: Ireland vs Samoa, 12 October 2019. Statistics include officially capped matches only.[15]

Most matches as captain[edit]

# Player Pos Span Mat Won Lost Draw % Pts Tries
1 Semo Sititi Flanker 2000–2007 39 19 20 0 48.71 45 9
2 Pat Lam Number 8 1995–1999 23 8 13 2 39.13 10 2
3 David Lemi Wing 2012–2017 21 9 10 2 47.61 35 7
4 Peter Fatialofa Prop 1990–1995 16 11 5 0 68.75 9 2
5 Mahonri Schwalger Hooker 2009–2011 13 5 8 0 38.46 0 0
6 Jack Lam Flanker 2018- 8 1 7 0 12.50 15 3
Chris Vui Lock 2017- 8 3 5 0 37.50 5 1
8 George Stowers Number 8 2008–2009 7 4 3 0 57.14 10 2
9 Kahn Fotuali'i Scrum-half 2013–2017 4 0 4 0 0.00 3 0
Ofisa Treviranus Number 8 2015 4 1 3 0 25.00 5 1
Alesana Tuilagi Wing 2015 4 2 1 1 62.50 5 1

Last updated: Ireland vs Samoa, 12 October 2019. Statistics include officially capped matches only.[16]

Most points in a match[edit]

# Player Pos Pts Tries Conv Pens Drop Opposition Venue Date
1 Gavin Williams Centre 30 2 10 0 0  Papua New Guinea Samoa Apia 11/07/2009
2 Roger Warren Fly-half 24 0 0 8 0  Tonga Samoa Apia 29/05/2004
3 Andrew Aiolupo Fullback 23 1 8 1 0  South Korea Japan Tokyo 08/04/1990
Silao Leaega Fullback 23 1 3 4 0  Japan Wales Wrexham 03/10/1999
Toa Samania Fullback 23 1 3 4 0  Italy Samoa Apia 08/07/2000
6 Darren Kellett Fly-half 22 0 2 5 1  Tonga Samoa Moamoa 04/06/1994
Ahsee Tuala Fullback 22 2 6 0 0  Germany Germany Heidelberg 14/07/2018
8 To'o Vaega Centre 21 1 4 3 0  Fiji Samoa Apia 01/06/1991
Earl Va'a Fly-half 21 1 5 2 0  Georgia Australia Perth 19/10/2003
Roger Warren Fly-half 21 0 3 4 1  Fiji Samoa Apia 09/07/2005

Last updated: Ireland vs Samoa, 12 October 2019. Statistics include officially capped matches only.[17]

Most tries in a match[edit]

# Player Pos Pts Tries Conv Pens Drop Opposition Venue Date
1 Elvis Seveali'i Wing 20 4 0 0 0  Japan Samoa Apia 10/06/2000
Alesana Tuilagi Wing 20 4 0 0 0  Tonga Samoa Apia 02/07/2005
Esera Lauina Wing 20 4 0 0 0  Papua New Guinea Samoa Apia 11/07/2009
Robert Lilomaiava Wing 20 4 0 0 0  Canada Wales Colwyn Bay 09/11/2012
5 Tupo Fa'amasino Wing 12 3 0 0 0  South Korea Japan Tokyo 08/04/1990
Brian Lima Centre 12 3 0 0 0  Fiji Samoa Apia 01/06/1991
Afato So'oalo Wing 15 3 0 0 0  Tonga Samoa Apia 28/06/1997
Dominic Feau'nati Wing 15 3 0 0 0  Namibia Namibia Windhoek 12/07/2003
Mikaele Pesamino Wing 15 3 0 0 0  Papua New Guinea Papua New Guinea Port Moresby 18/07/2009
Alesana Tuilagi Wing 15 3 0 0 0  Namibia New Zealand Rotorua 14/09/2011
Ed Fidow Wing 15 3 0 0 0  Germany Samoa Apia 30/06/2018

Last updated: Ireland vs Samoa, 12 October 2019. Statistics include officially capped matches only.[18]

The New Zealand connection[edit]

Western Samoa's triumph in the 1991 Rugby World Cup was inspired by their assistant coach Bryan Williams,[citation needed] who was a New Zealand-born (of Samoan descent) All Black great of the 1970s. The 1991 Samoan World Cup team included many New Zealand born or raised players; the catalyst was Auckland prop Peter Fatialofa, who in 1989, became the first major New Zealand-based player to play for Samoa. By the time of the 1991 World Cup several other New Zealand-born Samoans like Pat Lam, Stephen Bachop, Frank Bunce and Apollo Perelini had joined him. New Zealand born players with Samoan parentage have played for Samoa, such as Earl Va'a, Pat Lam and Lome Fa'atau.

The rugby relationship that exists between New Zealand and Samoa is a complex one. Close ties exist between the two countries, these bonds first being formed with the start of mass Polynesian migration to New Zealand in the latter half of the twentieth century. In the 2007 World Cup there were 14 New Zealand-born players in the Samoan squad.[19] The only team with more foreign born players in their squad was Italy who had 15.[19]

Strips[edit]

Manu Samoa play in blue and white uniforms, with the home strip consisting of blue jerseys, white shorts and blue socks and the away kit being with the colours reversed. Since 2007, the flag of Samoa has been featured on the left sleeve and pe'a-like patterns were incorpored into the jerseys.

1989-1998 Home
1998-2001 Home
1999 RWC Home
2001-2003 Home
2003-2004 Home
2005-2006 Home
2003 RWC Home
2007-2010 Home
2010-2012 Home
2010-2012 Away
2012-2013 Home
2014 Home
2015 Rugby World Cup Home
2015 Rugby World Cup Away
2015-2016 Home
2016 Home
2016 Away

Kit Manufacturers[edit]

Sponsors a[edit]

^a Sponsored logos appear on jerseys for matches other than the Rugby World Cup where branding, except for logos of equipment manufacturers, is not allowed.

^b Canterbury brand apparel was supplied for the 2014 end-of-year tour.

^c Sponsors worn during the Pasifika Challenge double-header.

^d Invest Samoa sponsored Samoa during the 2017 end-of-year rugby union tests.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ We quit: SRU Samoa Observer
  2. ^ "World Rugby Rankings". World Rugby.
  3. ^ "Samoa's Prime Minister praises banker, Sir Michael Fay, for supporting Manu Samoa". Radio New Zealand International. 18 April 2004. Retrieved 7 November 2011.
  4. ^ "Fay: Samoans need change". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 8 July 2015.
  5. ^ "Samoa qualify for 2011 World Cup". BBC Sport. 18 July 2009. Retrieved 4 August 2009.
  6. ^ Samoa shock Australia with 32–23 win in Sydney BBC Sport, 17 July 2011
  7. ^ "Union broke, P.M. admits". Samoa Observer. 7 November 2017. Retrieved 22 November 2017.
  8. ^ "Autumn Tests: Samoa rugby not bankrupt, says World Rugby". BBC. 20 November 2017. Retrieved 22 November 2017.
  9. ^ a b "Men's World Rankings". World Rugby. Retrieved 12 November 2019.
  10. ^ Samoa rugby statistics
  11. ^ https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/rugby/rugby-world-cup/115696029/manu-samoa-forced-into-last-minute-rugby-world-cup-lineup-change
  12. ^ Template:Cite news title=SAMOA DRAFT REPLACEMENT FOR INJURED BACK-ROW AMOSA
  13. ^ http://stats.espnscrum.com/scrum/rugby/records/player/most_matches.html?id=15;type=team
  14. ^ http://stats.espnscrum.com/scrum/rugby/records/player/most_tries.html?id=15;type=team
  15. ^ http://stats.espnscrum.com/scrum/rugby/records/player/most_points.html?id=15;type=team
  16. ^ http://stats.espnscrum.com/scrum/rugby/records/player/most_matches_captain.html?id=15;type=team
  17. ^ http://stats.espnscrum.com/scrum/rugby/records/player/most_points_match.html?id=15;type=team
  18. ^ http://stats.espnscrum.com/scrum/rugby/records/player/most_tries_match.html?id=15;type=team
  19. ^ a b "All those born abroad". Planet Rugby. Archived from the original on 11 October 2007. Retrieved 2 October 2007.

External links[edit]