Samoan sicklist grows

The Samoan team’s World Cup prospects took a turn for the worse when centre Anitelea Tuilagi was taken to hospital with a wrist injury sustained during training at the Stade de Courbevoie in Paris.

Samoa open their World Cup campaign when they face South Africa at Parc des Princes in Paris on Sunday.

The 21-year-old, who is in the Samoan squad alongside his elder brothers Henry and Alesana, arrived at the team’s welcome ceremony in Paris on Tuesday with his right arm in a sling.

Forwards coach Peter Fatialofa, a former Samoan captain, said the team was waiting to hear how serious the injury was.

Team doctor Ben Matalavea said Tuilagi’s arm needed a second scan before medical staff could properly assess the damage.

Tuilagi is the fourth Samoan player to suffer an injury.

Others on Samoa’s growing injured list include prop Donald Kerslake, who broke ribs in a warm-up match against English club Harlequins; lock Filipo Levi, who fractured an eye socket in a warm-up match against Sale Sharks; and hooker Silao Vaisola Sefo, who injured his leg in practice at the weekend.

Meanwhile Fatialofa says it would be silly to expect victory against the Springboks this Sunday.

He said the team was driving for a quarter-final spot, but are not overly confident about upsetting the Boks in their opening game.

“It would be silly if we come out and say we will beat South Africa,” he told the media.

“That is not being negative, but realistic and respectful to opposition we regard as up there with the All Blacks.”

Samoa should beat Tonga and the USA, but they also need to topple the Boks or England if they are to progress to the playoffs.

“That is not to say we are targeting England and will not have a full go against the Boks,” Fatialofa said.

“That is impossible for any player from Samoa. Our brotherhood will not allow a player to give anything other than his best.”

 

365 Digital

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