Toa Samoa

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.


Telethons in aid of returning Toa Samoa team

President of Rugby League Samoa, Tagaloa Fa'afouina Su'a, said there will be two telethons which will be broadcast on radio.

He said the government will be giving "a huge" amount for the visit which is estimated to cost about $US436,000.

The main meet and greet parade with the local fans and community is likely to be held on December 29 at the Apia Park Stadium.


Toa Samoa's homecoming is a Christmas present to the country

Rugby League Samoa official Lauaki Fereti Tuilagi said the programme for the visit is yet to be finalised, but all the players and coaches will be there.

Questions had been asked if the Rugby League World Cup finalists would be brought home to meet fans and supporters.

Deputy Prime Minister Tuala Iosefo Ponifasio said, on arrival back from watching the team in England, that Cabinet would meet to discuss bringing the team home.

He told media that when he spoke to team members after their games, they all wanted to come to Samoa.

Kangaroos dealt World Cup blow as another star commits to Samoa

Papalii has dabbled in the Samoan and Kangaroos camps in the past with four games with Samoa and 11 with the Kangaroos.

The Maroons veteran is the latest Australian eligible player to commit to a Pacific Island nation, joining Panthers duo Jarome Luai and Brian To’o.

“As an older player, I feel like it’s a movement I just don’t want to be missing out on,” Papalii said.

“Just seeing the likes of a few of the Penrith boys coming out and I’ve had few text messages from other players who haven’t come out yet saying they’ve put their hand up for Samoa.

Jarome Luai confirms he’ll play for Samoa at the World Cup

Luai joins his Panthers and Blues teammate Brian To’o in committing to Samoa, while Queensland and Raiders star Josh Papalii is expected to follow suit.

All three have previously played for Samoa but were in contention for Kangaroos selection.

“I am going to play for Samoa. It is who I am, and it is how I was bought up,” Luai told

“I know I live in Australia, but it is just a way of life for us. We are really connected to our Polynesian side as well.