Samoa arrive in SA without Brian Lima

Samoa, in the midst of their Pacific Nations Cup campaign, arrived in South Africa on Monday without skipper Brian Lima.

Lima was injured in the first round of the Cup, during Samoa’s 8-3 victory over Fiji, and will not play against the Springboks.

Lima, also known as the ‘Chiropractor’ for his hard tackling, has appeared in four World Cups, and will retire after his fifth, the 2007 tournament, thereby setting a new record, eclipsing Gareth Rees of Canada and Jason Leonard of England.

Lima is particularly well-known for his monstrous hit on Derick Hougaard in the 2003 quarter-final, and Hougaard, who is set to to run out for the Springboks against Samoa this weekend after a four year international absence, is no doubt fairly thankful for the legendary Samoan’s injury lay-off.

Experienced number eight, Semo Sititi, will captain the touring party in his stead.

Other notable players in the squad include former Chiefs fullback and current Newcastle Falcons back Loki Crichton, who is likely to run out at fly-half.

The hooker is Mahonri Schwalger, whose cousin, John, is a prop in the All Blacks squad. Mahonri also plays for the Hurricanes in the Super 14.

Another Hurricane in South Africa is Lome Fa’atau, the speedy winger.

The locking combination is of the Highlanders – both Filipo Levi and Kane Thompson are based at the New Zealand franchise.

But perhaps the most notable inclusion is the player said to be ‘the new Jonah Lomu’, Alesana Tuilagi, the 113-kg winger who plays his rugby for the Leicester Tigers in England. Big and fast, the winger is sure to be a handful for the Bok defence.

His brother, Anetalea, also of the Tigers, will play outside centre.

The Tuilagis are a notable rugby family. Besides Alesana and Anetalea, another three players are affiliated with the Leicester Tigers.

Freddie is the eldest, and has retired from rugby and acts as the brothers’ manager.

Henry, who along with Freddie played for the Tigers and Samoa, is the only forward of the brothers, as he plays in the back row.

The youngest of them, Vavae, is still coming through the ranks at the Tigers.

The Samoans’ recent results, after their victory over Fiji, have been two well-fought losses to the Junior All Blacks (31-10) and Australia ‘A’ (27-15), and if Jake White gives his second-stringers a run, they may well pose an interesting contest for the Springboks at Ellis Park on Saturday.

Legendary All Blacks flanker Michael Jones, who played one Test for Samoa before his New Zealand debut, is the team’s coach.

365 Digital

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