Manu Samoa

Samoa and Fijiana 7s qualify for 2024 Olympic Games

World Rugby said Brian Lima's Samoa will make their Olympic debut in France next year after they capped a supremely impressive weekend with a 24-0 defeat of Papua New Guinea in the men's Olympic final on Sunday.

Earlier at Ballymore Stadium, the Fijiana sevens made sure of their place in Paris with a 54-0 win in the women's Olympic final, also against Papua New Guinea.

But neither Samoa nor the Fijiana could turn their qualification success into a title triumph, as the All Blacks Sevens and Australia won the respective overall championship finals.

England players expecting Samoan physicality in last pool D match


Both sides have named their line-ups with Manu Samoa making nine changes to the match-day 23 that lost to Japan last week.

English second-rower Maro Itoje told the media in a press conference in Paris on Wednesday that they expect a big game from the Samoans.

"Samoa are a very good side, much improved from the last time we played them," Itoje said.

"They are a physical side, they are organised, they play with a lot of power and skill; so it is going to be a great game."

Forward-thinking Samoa change tight five for England

Samoa must win by 29 points or more with a bonus point against an England side who have secured top spot in the group, and hope Sunday’s match between Japan and Argentina ends in a draw without either side taking a try-scoring bonus point.

Mapusua has opted for a new front row with props Jordan Lay and Michael Alaalatoa either side of hooker Sama Malolo, who earns a second test start. The lock pairing of Sam Slade and Brian Alainu’u’ese also come into the team.

'We want to put shots in': England set to fight Samoan fire with fire

With a quarter-final on the horizon in Marseille on October 15, there might be a temptation for the already qualified English to sit back and let their final Pool D game unfold without fighting fully in the collisions.

However, assistant coach Wigglesworth has explained that England won’t shy away from confrontation despite the run that saw them suffer three red cards in four matches, including the dismissal of Tom Curry less than three minutes into the Rugby World Cup opener versus Argentina on September 9.

Rugby World Cup: England v Samoa - Kyle Sinckler eyes 'last dance' shot at glory

Sinckler is one of several players, such as Owen Farrell, Jamie George, Manu Tuilagi and Courtney Lawes, who have passed their 30th birthday.

Jack Willis, David Ribbans, Henry Arundell and Joe Marchant will play in France next year and may be ineligible.

"It has been mentioned - the 'last dance'. It makes everyone aware how special this is," said Sinckler.

"It will never happen again."

Independent Disciplinary Committee decision: Ben Lam (Samoa)

The player accepted the red card and was suspended for two matches subject to the successful completion of the Coaching Intervention Programme.

Samoa’s Ben Lam attended an independent Disciplinary Committee hearing for an offence contrary to Law 9.13 (dangerous tackle) as a result of a review by the Foul Play Review Official in Samoa’s Rugby World Cup 2023 Pool D match against Japan on Thursday, 28 September.

Japan beat Samoa to keep last eight hopes alive, England through to quarters

Tries by Pieter Labuschagne, Michael Leitch, Kazuki Himeno and 13 points from the boot of Rikiya Matsuda gave Japan a comprehensive victory as they leapfrogged their opponents into second place in Pool D with nine points.

Samoa, who had Ben Lam red carded early in the second half and answered with tries by Seilala Lam, Duncan Paia’aua and Christian Leali’ifano as well as points from the tee by Alai D’Angelo Leuila and Leali’ifano, are third on six points.

Riley starts at centre - Japan name team to play Samoa

Dylan Riley starts at outside-centre in place of Tomoki Osada and Lomano Lemeki comes in at full-back for the injured Semisi Masiresa, the two changes to his starting 15 from the team that lost to England. 

1 Keita Inagaki 
2 Shota Horie 
3 Jiwon Gu 
4 Jack Cornelsen 
5 Amato Fakatava 
6 Michael Leitch
7 Pieter Labuschagne 
8 Kazuki Himeno (c)
9 Yutaka Nagare 
10 Rikiya Matsuda 
11 Jone Naikabula 
12 Ryoto Nakamura
13 Dylan Riley 
14 Kotaro Matsushima 
15 Lomano Lemeki 

Powerful winger picked to start for Samoa against Japan

In the back-row, Taleni Seu will feature after an impressive display off the bench last week, covering 25 meters, including 20 meters gained past the gain-line, in just 26 minutes.

Sa Jordan Taufua is set to start as number eight, replacing former All Black Steven Luatua. This marks Taufua’s first start since November 2022, with his test rugby appearances this season limited to under 40 minutes in each of his three caps as a substitute.

Fiji's club model the pathway to success, says Samoa coach

While Fiji look on course to reach the World Cup quarterfinals for the first time since 2007 after beating Australia 22-15 in Pool C, Samoa's own Pool D hopes were dealt a blow in Friday's 19-10 defeat to Argentina.

Samoa have not reached the knockout stages since 1999, when they qualified for the quarterfinal playoffs. They have not reached the last eight itself since 1995.