Toa Samoa

NZ bond special for Samoa

Among the 17 set to take the field for Samoa in Auckland are 10 players who were born in New Zealand, while there are another three who were born in other countries but have represented New Zealand at junior or senior level in the past. 

It leaves Young Tonumaipea, Peter Mata'utia, Tim Lafai and Joseph Leilua as the only Samoa players who wouldn't be eligible to represent the Kiwis, while there are also duel Samoa-New Zealand internationals Ben Roberts, Frank Pritchard and Suaia Matagi in coach Matt Parish's team for week one.

Samoa name burly team to face Kiwis

A monster forward pack including captain Frank Pritchard and Canberra-based duo Junior Paulo and Josh Papalii will take to the field in Auckland, hoping for an upset win over the hosts.

With several Australian and Kiwi-born players, that's a distinct possibility.

Ben Roberts starts at halfback, partnered by Joseph Paulo, while NRL regulars Tim Lafai and Joey Leilua line up in the centres.

There are four Warriors players in Matt Parish's extended squad - wing Ken Maumalo, hooker Jazz Tevaga, prop Sam Lisone and reserve Bunty Afoa.

Toa Samoa quietly dreaming of Rugby League World Cup success

While New Zealand and Tonga have stolen all the headlines ahead of this week's first round of pool matches, Toa Samoa have been assiduously working away on home soil, hoping to earn a spot in the Cup final four.

They've now touched down in Auckland - home to an enormous Samoan diaspora - in preparation for Saturday night's clash with the Kiwis.

Pritchard, a 26-cap Kiwis veteran who has elected to represent his heritage at the Cup, couldn't wait to showcase his Samoa side to the world.

He had every belief they could make waves at the event.

Toa Samoa defeat NSW Country U23's

Samoa’s tries came from Peter Mata'utia, Jarome Luai, Young Tonumaipe'a, Ken Maumalo and Suaia Matagi.

Joesph Leilua added to tha tally with his two tries.

The conversions came from Matthew Wright, Fa'amanu Brown and Joseph Paulo.

There were two tries for NSW  Country U23’s from Jacob Gagai and a try each from Ryley Thomas, Kyle Krisanski-Kennedy and Jack Hickson.

The clash is the first for Toa Samoa since its line up for the RLWC was announced last week.

Toa Samoa’s campaign for the RLWC kicks off against New Zealand in Auckland on 28 October.

Samoa name side for clash with Country

The match-up between the Country and Samoan sides will be the main event in a festival of football, with an Open-Age Men’s Group 9 v Group 20 Indigenous match, Women’s tackle nines match between Riverina and Western and U17’s clash between Riverina and Monaro taking place from 3pm (local time)

Toa Samoa Coach Matt Parish believes the match is a great opportunity, not only for his side, but for Rugby League fans throughout the Riverina.

Lafai, Winterstein into Samoa squad

After announcing their 24-man squad in Samoa on Friday morning, officials were given the belated news that Newcastle Knights skipper Mata’utia and Knights-bound Brisbane centre Moga have been ruled unfit.

England, Samoa evenly matched for clash

While they have met only once in a Test match previously, there is plenty of reason to think these two nations will be evenly matched this weekend with Samoa enjoying the luxury of having several players who are currently among the best in their positons in the NRL Telstra Premiership.

England coach Wayne Bennett has suffered a couple of big injury blows before a ball has even been kicked, with St George Illawarra Dragons star Gareth Widdop and fellow playmaker George Williams both ruled out with knee injuries.

Relaxed eligibility rules boost for Pacific league teams

Brisbane Broncos stand-off Anthony Milford will pull on the Samoan jumper for the first time in four years in Saturday's Pacific Test against England at Campbelltown Stadium.

Club teammate Josh McGuire will also wear blue, two years after his last test for the Toa and less than 12 months after representing both Queensland and Australia.

England name squad to face Toa Samoa

Mike McMeeken, Chris McQueen and Alex Walmsley have been called up to an England squad for the first time, while there are recalls for Zak Hardaker and Chris Heighington, who was last selected in 2011.

Sean O'Loughlin will captain the squad after missing the 2016 Four Nations tournament through injury.

The squad is made up of 12 players from the English Super League and eight from Australia's NRL.

Wayne Bennett said he's selected a strong squad with the talent to do well.

Forget the big three, it's the big six or seven

"I don't think it is the big three any more," Parish said. 

"I actually think it is the big six or the big seven because they have changed the international eligibility rules for players and I think the gap between the third and fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh nations isn't that great now."

While Scotland secured a draw with New Zealand during last year's Four Nations and Italy shocked England in a warm-up match before the 2013 World Cup, no tier two country has beaten one of the big three in a Test or major tournament for more than 35 years.