Samoa name team for Wallaby Crusade

Samoa have named their rugby team to face Australia which includes five players who have played under Wallabies coach Robbie Deans whilst he was coaching the Crusaders.


Prop Sakaria Taulafo, flyhalf Tusi Pisi, fullback Paul Williams – son of New Zealand great Bryan Williams – scrumhalf Kahn Fotuali’i and reserve hooker Tii Paulo all spent time with the Crusaders during Deans’ eight-year coaching reign.


Fotuali’i is the only player still with the Crusaders and was part of the team beaten by Reds in last weekend’s Super 15 Rugby final.


Eight members of Samoa’s 22-man squad named Thursday are currently New Zealand-based, seven play in Britain, four in France and two in Japan.


Samoa lost to Tonga 29-19 on Wednesday in the last round of the Pacific Nations Cup after previously losing to Fiji and beating eventual tournament-winners Japan.


Fifteen members of the squad have been training in Sydney since last Sunday and the remainder arrived Thursday after appearing in the Pacific tournament.


Coach Fuimaono Titmaea Tafua said recent and upcoming games will be used to assess the best squad for the World Cup in New Zealand in September and October.


“The defeat by Tonga will not affect the team’s preparations against the Wallabies in the weekend,” Tafua said.


“Manu Samoa’s preparations for PNC, the test against Australia and two home fixtures against Western Force is all part of the selection for a Rugby World Cup team for Samoa.


“There will be a slight change to this weekend’s selection, but so far preparations for the Wallabies test is all good and we look forward to the test this weekend.”


Sunday’s one-off test is the first between Australia and Samoa since 2005 when the Wallabies won 74-7 in Sydney.


Samoa:


Paul Williams, Sailosi Tagicakibau, George Pisi, Seilala Mapusua, Alesana Tuilagi, Tusi Pisi, Kahn Fotuali’i, George Stowers, Maurie Fa’asavalu, Taisina Tuifu’a, Daniel Leo, Kane Thompson, Anthony Perenise, Mahonri Schwalger (captain), Sakaria Taulafo.


Reserves: Tii Paulo, Census Johnston, Filipo Lavea Levi, Manaia Salavea, Brenton Helleur, Eliota Fuimaono Sapolu, James So’oialo.

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