Toa Samoa

Calls for Tonga v Samoa test series

Alongside his Salford team-mate Tim Lafai, Sio received a late call-up to Samoa’s World Cup squad last year due to injuries in Matt Parish’s squad.

Sio didn’t feature in any of the games but he was incredibly proud to be part of the Samoan squad that became the first-ever tier two nation to reach a World Cup final.

“We were just happy to support our brothers but to get the call after the England game we were buzzing,” Sio told Love Rugby League. “We were like little kids in the car talking about how fun it was going to be.

Toa Samoa’s Martin Taupau signs with Brisbane Broncos

The Broncos announced that Taupau signed on a one-year deal for the 2023 season.

The announcement by the NRL powerhouse will see the 32-year-old with 222 NRL games and 33 Tests for New Zealand and Samoa to his name provide valuable depth to the club’s middle forward stocks, according to a statement released by the Brisbane club.

Broncos Coach Kevin Walters said: “Marty has been playing in the NRL since 2010 so he brings good experience and he was very impressive when we spoke to him on the values he brings to our club.

Samoa star Stephen Crichton to leave Penrith Panthers at season’s end

The 22-year-old’s management team has notified the NRL champions that he will be seeking opportunities elsewhere from 2024.

Crichton’s next destination has yet to be confirmed. He has been heavily linked with Canterbury Bulldogs, where former Panthers assistant Cameron Ciraldo is the head coach.

On leaving Penrith, Crichton said: “It was the hardest decision to make, but now my full focus is on the 2023 season and finishing my time at Panthers as strong as I can.

World Cup star bestowed honour upon return to Samoa

The 19-year-old was granted the title of “matai", meaning chief. His obtaining of the title also means he now goes by a “chief name”, and Suaalii's is “Anavaotaua Iosefa Aukuso Suaalii”, and the Samoan fullback discussed why his is a bit different from usual.

“Usually in Samoa, they'll call you by one of your village names, but I'd prefer to represent both my grandparents' people because of the honours they've given me,” Suaalii told the Sydney Morning Herald.

“So I've combined the two and every time I go back to Samoa, they'll greet me by my chief name.”

Toa Samoa’s Chanel Harris-Tavita uses homecoming to escape from reality of decision to quit

This week’s Toa Samoa homecoming parades in Apia offered the opportunity for 23-year-old Harris-Tavita ​to visit Samoa for the first time after making deciding to quit following a failed NRL campaign with the Warriors.

Harris-Tavita says he is deliberately avoiding thinking about what 2023 will bring by only thinking two weeks ahead at a time.

“I think I’ve just been planning a couple weeks at a time and then as soon as it gets to the back end of the two weeks, I’m thinking about those next two weeks,” says Harris-Tevita.

Samoa holds thanksgiving service for 2022 sports achievements

The thanksgiving service was attended by Afioga i le Ao Mamalu o le Malo Tuimaleali'ifano Va'aletoa Sualauvi II and Masiofo, Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mataafa and Members of the Cabinet, Toa Samoa team and management, and Manu Samoa 7s team with family and friends.

Savali newspaper reports the church service was led by National Council of Churches (NCC) Chairman Rev. Aisoli Iuli.

Toa Samoa created history when they became the first Pacific team to play in the Rugby League World Cup last month.

Hundreds turn up to welcome the Toa Samoa players

The crowd was under the watchful eyes of the police officers deployed for the arrival of the players.

Jerome Luai was accompanied by his partner Bailey Paris Toleafoa and son Israel.

Also arriving last night was Toa Samoa Captain Junior Paulo with his family, as well as Kelma Tuilagi and Royce Hunt.

The team of management and players with their families, will be staying at Return to Paradise Resort.

The second group of players are expected to arrive in the country at 3pm (Samoa Time) today.

     

Public to refrain from blocking the road during arrival of Toa Samoa players

The Ministry of Police, Prisons and Corrections Services has issued a notice warning the public, “No ikavales and no fiapokos”

The national police force is advising the public who intend to be at the Faleolo International Airport to witness their arrival; “Please do not block the roads and do not do anything you would regret later”.

“We will be on the block to monitor the premises; therefore we ask for your cooperation.”

“Stay safe and always remember your safety is our priority!”

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.

Thousands raised for Toa Samoa homecoming

The Samoa Observer reports Samoans all over the world chipped in to support Toa Samoa's homecoming.

Rugby League Samoa President Tagaloa Fa'afouina Su'a told a media conference donations by companies were already collected ahead of the fundraiser.

The team arrive in Apia on December 27.