Samoa Rugby League

Parish proud of legacy after standing down as Samoa coach

Parish, who was ordained as a Samoan chief in an emotional ceremony last December witnessed by many of his players and their families, advised the new Rugby League Samoa executive of his decision after a decade in the role.

Having taken charge of Samoa in 2013, Parish was the longest serving international coach at last year’s World Cup and has made a significant contribution to the rise of the Pacific nations.

He also had charge of Samoa at the 2013 and 2017 World Cups, as well as the 2014 Four Nations tournament, and oversaw numerous Pacific Test victories.

Samoa now sit third in global rugby league rankings

Samoa was ranked seventh place but the team's history making grand final appearance to go down 30-10 to Australia has seen the island nation climb from seventh to third place behind New Zealand and Australia.

Samoa became the first tier two nation to qualify for a World Cup final, which sparked celebrations around the globe and shook up the men’s rankings at the end of 2022, according to the NRL.

Panthers quartet among new faces in Samoa squad

Samoa coach Matt Parish has chosen a 20-man squad for the June 25 Test but decided not to include any of the Pacific nation’s eligible players who were involved in last week’s opening State of Origin as he did not want to put unnecessary pressure on them.

Players who are eligible for NSW or Queensland, as well as Samoa, can play Origin and still represent their heritage at the end-of-season World Cup in England.

“We are proud of all players with Samoan heritage who are playing in all teams in the upcoming Representative Round,” Parish said.

Lafai joins English Premier League’s Salford Red Devils

After a total of 165 games for the Bulldogs and Dragons between 2011 and 2020, Lafai returned to the Bulldogs mid-way through the 2020 season.

He managed just five games though before being let go by the club, and he wasn't picked up for 2021, eventually signing on with the Parramatta Eels to play New South Wales Cup.

With Covid ruining reserve grade for the year, the 30-year-old who has played 13 Tests for Samoa seemed to be a forgotten force in the elite level of the game, however, Salford have seen the value in Lafai.

Luai ‘in the mix’ for Kangaroos as Meninga aims to get Samoa star to defect

Luai, who was part of NSW’s Origin II triumph on Sunday, has previously represented the Pacific nation.

Samoa are in the midst of a coaching crisis with Matt Parish and the nation’s board off-side with a number of leading players, including Luai and Queensland’s Josh Papalii.

Luai has in the past indicated he wanted to help Samoa mirror the growth of Tonga on the international stage, but Meninga encouraged the Penrith five-eighth to change his allegiance.

Rugby League Samoa open door to coaching changes

Speaking on Fox Sports at the weekend, Matthew Johns said the brothers wanted to help Toa Samoa emulate the success of Tonga in the international game and had spoken with Sonny Bill Williams about a possible coaching trio.

The incumbent Toa Samoa coach Matt Parish has been in charge since 2013 and has coached the team at the last two Rugby League World Cups.

Rugby League Samoa President Tagaloa Faafouina Su'a issued a statement yesterday insisting Parish would continue his tenure with Samoa.

Matty Johns reveals plan to coach Samoa with brother Joey and SBW

Matt Parish currently coaches Toa Samoa but he’s under pressure to keep his job, with news earlier this year players have been lobbying to replace him.

Johns was asked on Sunday Night With Matty Johns if he was serious about taking the job, having mentioned it briefly during last week’s program.

“They’ve got a head coach at the moment there. But I spoke to Joey (Andrew) again about it today, and yeah (we are serious), definitely,” Johns said.

“We’ve got full-time jobs so I don’t know how it would work out, and Joey has been talking to Sonny Bill Williams as well.

Samoa’s Luai is player to watch in upcoming Rugby League World Cup

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Luai enjoyed a stellar season with Penrith in 2020, helping the Panthers reach the NRL Grand Final.

The 23-year-old playmaker has earned five caps for Samoa and represented the nation at the 2017 World Cup prior to making his first grade debut.

Samoa will be facing the hosts, England in the opener of the world cup at St James’ Park in Newcastle on Saturday, 23 October 2021.

'My heart is with Samoa': Luai wants tier-two nation to follow Tonga's path

The Herald revealed last week Luai was weighing up whether to represent Samoa or New Zealand, and had never entertained the idea of running out for the Blues alongside childhood mate Nathan Cleary.

Luai would not turn down an offer from Blues coach Brad Fittler, but made it clear his heart was with the Pacific nation where his father, Martin, grew up. Samoa could follow in Tonga's footsteps and become a little league powerhouse.

Tuimavave ready for resurgent Samoa

Samoa endured a difficult tournament in 2017, drawing one and losing two of their group games before being beaten 46-0 by Australia in the quarter-finals.

But several star players are currently catching the eye Down Under, raising hopes that Samoa could emulate the kind of run that took Tonga to within minutes of the final three years ago.

Tuimavave was not selected in 2017 and hasn’t played for Samoa since 2015, but says he would love to pull on the blue shirt again next year.

He said: “I’ve always made myself available.