Toa Samoa

John Hopoate's plea to Kangaroos stars over Samoa heritage dilemma

The Pacific Island nation lost 38-12 to Australia before being thumped 50-0 by New Zealand – just a year after making the World Cup final. Hopoate, who played for Australia and Tonga, remains passionate about the Pasifika cause and is saddened by Samoa's abrupt demise.

Posting photos of players who opted to play for Samoa over Australia, including Penrith grand final heroes Stephen Crichton and Brian To'o along with Parramatta enforcer Junior Paulo, Hoppa challenged other NRL stars to join the crusade.

Kiwis deliver statement win over Toa Samoa


Named the Ken Irvine Medallist following his 24 tries during the Telstra Premiership season, Isaako's two tries gave Michael Maguire's side a commanding early lead that they wouldn't look back from, to secure their first shut-out win on home soil in over two decades.

Playing their first game since a narrow defeat to Australia in last year's World Cup semi final, New Zealand's combination of power through the middle and quality work from their outside backs was simply irrepressible as Samoa struggled to generate sustained attacking pressure or go-forward.

Kiwis v Samoa: Maguire bloods four debutants; Seve in for Tonumaipea

Eden Park is sure to be buzzing with the passionate Samoan fans out in force and the battle up front in the opening 15 minutes will be worth the price of admission alone.

New Kiwis skipper James Fisher-Harris and his Panthers teammate Moses Leota go head to head with Junior Paulo, Stefano Utoikamanu and Terrell May, who added plenty of punch off the bench in the tournament opener.

Samoa will take plenty of confidence from the fact they went further than the Kiwis at last year's World Cup and they continue to grow in confidence on the international stage.

Gardiner names Toa Samoa squad

Four of these come from the premiership-winning Penrith Panthers - Stephen Crichton, Spencer Leniu, Izack Tago and Brian To'o.

Brisbane Broncos duo Keenan Palasia and Jesse Arthars were also named in new coach Ben Gardiner's squad to take on Australia and New Zealand in the tournament starting later this month.

Eels skipper Junior Paulo was named captain.

Samoa will play its first game of the Pacific Championships against Australia in Townsville on October 14, before taking on New Zealand in Auckland the following week.


Johns brothers comment on taking over World Cup finalists Samoa

Finishing last year’s World Cup as finalists will undoubtedly go down as Rugby League Samoa’s greatest achievement to date. 

But it was not enough to keep the longest tenured coach in his role following a successful campaign full of whispers. 

The rumour mill was set alight heading into the RLWC last year over suggestions there was a divide between the playing group and coaching staff, when a petition was signed by players to have the coach sacked in late 2021.

Plan drafted for Samoa and Tonga to be part of Rugby League Four Nations

The Sydney Morning Herald reported the plans were for a four-week tournament this year.

The centrepiece of the proposed tournament would be a double-header at Auckland's Eden Park in which Samoa and Tonga would meet in a repeat of their World Cup quarter-final, before Australia and New Zealand do battle.

It would also see Australia and Samoa repeat their World Cup final of October 2022, won by Australia.

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.”