Sport in Samoa

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The Samoa vs. Uganda rugby match

The main sports played in Samoa are rugby union, rugby league, and Samoan cricket (kirikiti). Other popular sports are netball, volleyball, and soccer.

Rugby union[edit]

Rugby union is the main sport in Samoa, it is called Samoa's national game as it is played around all of Samoa, the Samoan Rugby team is very successful.

Rugby league[edit]

Rugby league is a popular sport in Samoa, with the national team reaching the quarter finals of the 2000 Rugby League World Cup. They have also qualified for the 2008 Rugby League World Cup which was held in Australia during October and November.

Many Samoans, New Zealanders, and Australians of Samoan descent play in the Super League and National Leagues in Britain. Examples are Va'aiga Lealuga Tuigamala who represented the New Zealand All Blacks, then became the first million dollar player to be contract out to rugby league to play for Wigan, then played rugby union for Newcastle Falcons before representing Samoa. Ta'ane Lavulavu of Workington Town, Maurie Fa'asavalu of St. Helens, David Fatialofa of Whitehaven and Pita Godinet of Wakefield Trinity Wildcats. Other noteworthy players have represented the Samoan national rugby league team.

Australian Rules Football[edit]

Australian rules football as a sport in Samoa has been played since 1997. The game is typically played under derived rules known as Samoa Rules and is played on rugby fields.[1]

The governing body for the sport is the Samoa Australian Rules Football Association,[2] first formed in 1998 and the national team, which first competed at the Arafura Games is known as the Bulldogs, the name being chosen as the AFL's Western Bulldogs wore the Samoan national colours and has sent some professional players to visit the islands on clinics.

AFL players to visit Samoa for coaching clinics include Dermott Brereton, Brad Johnson and Steve Kretiuk.

American football[edit]

American football is a growing sport in Samoa. About 30 ethnic Samoans, many from American Samoa, currently play in the National Football League. Junior Seau, former linebacker for the San Diego Chargers and New England Patriots, is a famous example.[3] A 2002 article from ESPN estimated that a Samoan male (either an American Samoan, or a Samoan living in the 50 United States) is 40 times more likely to play in the NFL than a non-Samoan American. [1]


Cricket is a minor sport in Samoa. The Samoan national cricket team became an affiliate member of the International Cricket Council in 2000. In 2005, they competed in the East Asia/Pacific Cup, finishing in last place, thus missing out on qualification for the 2011 Cricket World Cup.

Professional Wrestling and MMA[edit]

Samoans have been very visible in American professional wrestling, despite the relatively small population of the islands. Roman Reigns, The Usos, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Peter Maivia, Umaga/Jamal, Rosey, Yokozuna, Wild Samoans, The Headshrinkers, Rikishi, Samoa Joe, and Sonny Siaki all have a Samoan heritage.

The former sumo wrestlers Konishiki, who reached the rank of Ozeki (champion), and Musashimaru, who reached the pinnacle rank of yokozuna (grand champion), are of Samoan descent.

Several boxers and kickboxers are of Samoan descent, including former heavyweight contender David Tua, former middleweight champion Maselino Masoe, K-1 World Champion Mark Hunt as well as K-1 Super Heavyweight contenders Ray Sefo, Jason Suttie and also Jimmy Thunder.

The Anoa'i Family Tree:

Leah Maivia (1927–2008) Toa Maivia
Blood brothers
Tovale Anoa'i
Amituana Anoa'i
Peter Maivia (1937–1982) Ata Maivia
Rocky Johnson
Lynn Anoa'i
Afa Anoaʻi Tumua Anoa'i Junior Anoa'i Sika Anoa'i
Patricia Anoa'i Afoa Anoa'i Vera Anoa'i
Solofa Fatu Dwayne Johnson (The Rock)
Reno Anoa'i
(Black Pearl)
Rodney Agatupu Anoa'i (Yokozuna) (1966–2000) Matt Anoa'i (Rosey) Joe Anoa'i (Roman Reigns) Sam Fatu
(Tama/Tonga Kid)
Eddie Fatu (Umaga) (1973–2009) Solofa Fatu, Jr. (Rikishi)
Talisua Fuavai
Samula Anoa'i (Samu) Afa Jr. (Manu) Lynn Tovale Anoa'i Lloyd Anoa'I (L.A. Smooth) Monica Anoa'i
Gary Albright (1963–2000) Jonathan Solofa Fatu (Jimmy Uso) Joshua Samuel Fatu (Jey Uso) Thavana Monalisa Jeremiah Peniata Joseph

Pacific Games[edit]

Between August and September 2007, Samoa hosted the 2007 Pacific Games, the second time the country has hosted the region-specific multi-sport event since the Games inception in 1963.

Association football (soccer)[edit]

Association football (soccer) is a popular sport in Samoa, with the national team being ranked 149th in the world.

Former Everton's and Australia's playmaker, Tim Cahill is half Samoan. He represented Samoa in youth national teams. His brother Chris Cahill is playing as a captain for the Samoan national team.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Team by team guide to the International Cup from The Age. August 11, 2002
  2. ^ AFL Samoa
  3. ^ "Junior Seau". ESPN. Retrieved 2009-05-03. 

External links[edit]