Wallabies invited to play Manu in Samoa

The Australians defeated Manu Samoa 34-15 in Parramatta on Saturday, in the final test for both countries before departing to the Rugby World Cup in Japan.

Samoa's Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, made the invitation to the Australian PM, Scott Morrison, during bilateral talks between the two leaders in Sydney over the weekend.

Nakarawa not bothered about Wallabies adopted Fijians

The Fijian born quartet of Isi Naisarani, Samu Kerevi. Marika Koroibete and Tevita Kuridrani are  likely to be in the Wallabies team against Fiji a the Sapporo Dome on September 21 and Nakarawa recognises it could be an unwanted distraction.

However, the Racing 92 lock who won a  Sevens gold medal at the Rio Olympics, told the FijiSun: “Other Fijians play for other countries for their own personal reasons. We don’t want to think or are bothered about them. We want to focus on what we can do and tasked to achieve at the World Cup.

Samoa primed to cause more woes for the Wallabies

The Wallabies have won four of their five previous tests against the men in blue, but the Manu prevailed 32-23 when the teams last played eight years ago.

Head coach Steve Jackson said games like this don't come around very often and his players are feeling extremely confident.

"This is about our 2019 and what these players can go out and do against Australia and create their own little piece of history and this game is hugely important to us.

David Pocock to make his much-awaited return against Samoa - and take the captain's armband

Pocock, who hasn’t played since March due to an ongoing calf injury, will lead the Wallabies out on to Bankwest Stadium on Saturday in their last Test before flying to Japan ahead of the World Cup tournament.

The 31-year-old flanker is one of several experienced campaigners included in the starting 15, including Test centurions Adam Ashley-Cooper, Will Genia and Sekope Kepu.

The latter two have already confirmed they will retire from international rugby after the World Cup, while veteran hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau announced on Wednesday he will join them.

Wallabies centurion Sekope Kepu to retire from international rugby after RWC

The 33-year-old Kepu, who last year became the first prop to play 100 Tests for Australia, announced on Monday his plans to step down from international rugby.

It brings to an end his ties to Australian rugby after quitting the NSW Waratahs to play with UK club London Irish after the global tournament in Japan, which starts later this month.

Kepu is set to farewell fans at the Wallabies' final World Cup warm-up game, against Samoa at Sydney's Bankwest Stadium on Saturday.

Petaia ruled out of World Cup warm-up against Samoa

Wallabies officials confirmed on Wednesday Petaia would fly back to Australia to have scans on a hamstring injury he suffered while making a diving tackle at training in Noumea.

The early word is that the injury is not serious enough to rule Petaia out of the upcoming World Cup, which begins in just over three weeks.

However, the Queensland Reds utility back won’t take the field against Samoa next Saturday at Bankwest Stadium in what many believed would be the perfect time to blood him before the World Cup.

Big Polynesian influence in Wallabies

The senior figure of the group is 33-year-old Kepu, of Tongan descent, who has amassed 105 caps, a record for a Wallabies prop.

When Australia won their first World Cup in 1991, the team included Tongan-born powerhouse Willie Ofahengaue.

Eight years later, the triumphant 1999 Wallabies side included another explosive backrower of Tongan heritage in Toutai Kefu.

But Ofahengaue and Kefu were the only Polynesians in their respective starting XVs.

Four Wallabies named in Vikings squad

Led by Head Coach Nick Scrivener, the Vikings, who reached the semi-final stage last season only to fall to the Fijian Drua in the Pacific Islands, have named a strong-looking group of players that includes full Wallabies internationals Tom Banks, Joe Powell, Pete Samu and Blake Enever.

There’s a real emphasis on youth amongst the group with promising young talent such as Junior Wallabies props Bo Abra and Angus Wagner, hooker Lachlan Lonergan, and backs Noah Lolesio, Bayley Kuenzle and Len Ikitau, set to take the tournament by storm.

Wallabies name Petaia and Ashley-Cooper in squad

It comes as 19-year-old young gun Jordan Petaia became the youngest player to be named in a Wallabies World Cup squad, while Tatafu Polota-Nau, Tom Banks, Joe Powell, Nick Phipps, Luke Jones, Tom Robertson, Pete Samu and Jack Maddocks were all left out by the three-man selection panel.

Will Skelton's name also does not feature on the final list, with negotiations and a late bid to get him to a second World Cup never getting out of first gear.

Samu Kerevi in awe of veteran All Black

Williams made a devastating contribution to New Zealand's 36-0 trouncing of Australia's Bledisloe Cup hopes at Eden Park on Saturday, scoring one try after missing the last two tests.

Kerevi was one of the defenders he minced on his charge for the try line. All Blacks coach Steve Hansen will have to pause for thought before he starts crossing out names on New Zealand's World Cup squad list.