Manu Samoa

Manu Samoa hopeful for Apia Park upgrade

The Manu came from behind to win 25-17 at Apia Park to secure their first win over the 'Ikale Tahi in three years.

World Rugby officials were close to calling off the match before kick-off, with the playing surface resembling a mud-bath following sustained periods of heavy rain in the Samoan capital.

"It looked like it was going to clear up for a period of time there, but it came in again and it bucketed down in the warm-up and everyone was soaked," said Manu Samoa head coach Steve Jackson.

Manu Samoa ready for Tonga, Fiji look to defend Pacific Cup

Steve Jackson said he's been impressed by the players efforts in training, despite concerns about match fitness.

He said Saturday's home match in Apia was more than just an opener for the Manu, and they were rearing to showcase what they've got.

"Not only do we need to put in a performance on the field that we are going to be happy with, but it is so important that this is our one and only home test in Apia," Jackon said.

"You know, we could go out there and put on a display for our community ... and it will build some confidence in us moving through the PNC."

Samoans donate $60K to Manu Samoa World Cup campaign

The event started with a street parade featuring all Samoan rugby teams starting with schoolboys and age group teams as well as teams from the recently completed Super Nine tournament.

Manu Samoa were the main feature of the morning though drawing large crowds of supporters at the parade.

The Manu continue their world cup preparations on Saturday in the opening Pacific Nations Cup test against the Ikale Tahi from Tonga.

In their other Pacific Nations Cup matches Samoa will play the USA and Fiji in Suva.

Cancer survivor to lead Tonga against Samoa

'Ikale Tahi coach Toutai Kefu has named a squad which is notable for a handful of newcomers, including former Hurricanes lock Sam Lousi, and the return of 30 year old Manu.

Manu played three tests for Tonga before missing the entire season for Italian club Bennetton Treviso to undergo chemotherapy and testicular cancer surgery.

The match on Saturday is the 'Ikale Tahi's first in their World Cup build up which will culminate with a test against New Zealand in September.

Samoa's Joe Tekori in shock retirement just months before World Cup

The 35-year-old lock/back row would almost certainly have been named in Samoa’s final World Cup squad if available, having helped the Pacific Islanders to qualify by beating Germany in a two-legged play-off last year.

But Tekori didn’t feature for Samoa in last year’s November Tests – instead playing for Toulouse in the Top 14 – and has now confirmed that he will not play at his fourth World Cup, having decided to retire from Test rugby.

John Campbell given Samoan title of Toleafoa in recognition of his support for rugby team

The Samoan head of state, Va'aletoa Sualauvi II, surprised Campbell with the honour while the Breakfast host was in the country.

Former Samoa cap Motu Matu'u tweeted a picture of Sualauvi with his hands on Campbell's head, captioned: "@JohnJCampbell officially bestowed the title Toleafoa from the Royal Highness Head of state of Samoa."

Toleafoa is a chiefly title and a significant honour. People in Samoa will now address Campbell using the title as part of his formal name.

Campbell retweeted the photo from his own account.

Samoa pre-World Cup training camp 'one of the best' as Pacific Nations Cup looms

In fact, their current training camp in Auckland ahead of the upcoming Pacific Nations Cup is “one of the best” Manu Samoa have had, according to star prop Logovi’i Mulipola.

The Newcastle Falcons prop is part of head coach Steve Jackson’s 31-man squad for the pre-World Cup tournament, and told One News of how much different their lead-up to the 2019 spectacle has been compared to recent competitions, which have often been dogged by poor resources and lacklustre training conditions.

Eight new caps in Manu Samoa squad for Pacific Nations Cup

Savai'i Vikings prop Alofaaga Sao, Southern Tornadoes flanker Tofatuimoana Solia and Aana Chiefs wing Johnny Vaili have made the cut after starring in Samoa's local Super 9 competition, while Solia and Vaili also featured on the World Sevens Series.

Head coach Steve Jackson said he was impressed by the talent on show in the local competition.

"I've watched it over the last couple of weeks, the semis and the final and previously a couple of round robin fixtures as well and the quality of rugby over here in that Super 9 competition is quite outstanding," he said.

Whirlwind rise for Manu Samoa's Kane Le'aupepe

The 26-year-old can now add professional rugby player to that list since being called into the Hurricanes squad at the end of March.

The Wellington-born Le'aupepe has benefitted from a dearth of second row depth in the capital, making his Super Rugby debut off the bench against the Crusaders and has since accumulated four caps and a try for his home-town team, including starts against the Highlanders and Chiefs.

Le'aupepe, who was also a late call-up to Samoa's end of year tour squad in November, admitted it has all happened very quickly.

Manu Samoa coach challenges team to start winning

The governing body wants a 12 team global competition to start in 2022, that would feature teams from the Six Nations and Rugby Championship as well as two additional countries based on world rankings, currently Fiji and Japan.

Samoa have won only five of their 20 test matches since the last World Cup, with their only successes in the last two years coming against European minnows Germany and Spain.

Steve Jackson, who was appointed in September last year, said that had to change.