Girish Mahajan (Editor)

Samoa national rugby union team

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Union  Samoa Rugby Union
Home stadium  Apia Park
Lowest  15 (2016)
Captain  David Lemi
Top scorer  Earl Va'a (172)
Emblem  Southern cross
Head coach  Alama Ieremia
Highest  7 (2013)
Nickname(s)  Manu Samoa
Top try scorer  Brian Lima (29)
Most caps  Brian Lima (64)
Samoa national rugby union team httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediaenthumb3
Current  14 (as of 21 November 2016)
Best result  Quarter-finals, 1991, 1995

The Samoa national rugby union team (also known as Manu Samoa) is the men's representative side of Samoa in rugby union. The Samoa Rugby Union is owned by the affiliated rugby unions of Samoa. The name Manu Samoa is in honour of a famous Samoan warrior. They perform a traditional Samoan challenge called the siva tau before each game. Samoa Rugby Union were formerly members of the Pacific Islands Rugby Alliance (PIRA) along with Fiji and Tonga. They are ranked 12th in the world.


Samoa national rugby union team November Tests 2013

Rugby was introduced to Samoa in the early 1920s and a governing body was soon formed. The first international was played as Western Samoa against Fiji in August 1924. Along with Tonga, these nations would meet regularly and eventually contest competitions such as the Pacific Tri-Nations – with Western Samoa winning the first of these. From 1924 to 1997 Samoa was known and competed as Western Samoa.

Samoa national rugby union team Samoa national rugby union team Wikipedia

Samoa have been to every Rugby World Cup since the 1991 tournament. That tournament, along with the 1995 competition saw them make the quarter-finals. Under their new coach, the All Blacks legend Michael Jones (himself of Samoan descent and a Samoan international), Samoa competed in the 2007 Rugby World Cup. However, Samoa had a dismal World Cup campaign, winning only one match and finishing fourth in their group. Samoa showed an improved performance at the 2011 Rugby World Cup, winning two matches by comfortable margins, and losing close matches to South Africa and Wales.

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Manu Samoa play in blue and white uniforms. They do not train on Sundays because many of the team are devout Christians.

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Manu samoa s greatest moments at rwc 2015


The Marist Brothers brought the game of rugby to Western Samoa in 1924 and The Western Samoa Rugby Football Union was formed in 1924. On 18 August 1924, Western Samoa played its first international against Fiji in the capital Apia, the visitors winning 6–0. The match was played at 7am to allow the Samoans time to get to work afterwards and was played on a pitch with a large tree on the halfway line. The return match was won 9–3 by Samoa to draw the series.

In 1954 Western Samoan visited both Pacific Island neighbors Fiji and Tonga but had to wait a further 20 years before a tour of New Zealand took place. The Samoans won one of eight matches on that tour.

The traditional tri-series between Tonga, Fiji and Western Samoa was established in 1982 with Western Samoa winning the first tournament. Wales visited Western Samoa and won the test 32–16 at Apia. The tour led to a return visit to Wales which brought Western Samoa out of International limbo, although Western Samoa were not invited to the first Rugby World Cup in 1987.

The following year a 14-match tour of Europe took place before a World Cup elimination series in Tokyo, which gave Western Samoa a place in the 1991 Rugby World Cup in Britain. They made a huge impact. After sweeping aside Wales 16–13 in Cardiff and defeating Argentina 35–12, and narrowly losing 3–9 to eventual champions Australia in their pool match, Western Samoa, a country with a population of 160,000, found itself in the quarterfinals against Scotland at Murrayfield. The Scots won comfortably 28–6, but the Samoans were clearly the personality team of the tournament.

Over the next two years the side had a number of notable wins. The most outstanding achievement were in Sevens where it won the 1993 Hong Kong and 1992 Middlesex Sevens. The 1995 Rugby World Cup in South Africa proved that the team belonged in top company. They again reached the quarterfinals after wins over Argentina and Italy, but were beaten 42–14 by the eventual winners South Africa. After the Cup, Manu Samoa made a 13-match tour of England and Scotland, drawing 15–15 with the Scots and going down 27–9 to England.

With the advent of professional rugby in 1995 it was vital for Manu Samoa to develop a new administrative structure. This was made possible with Fay Richwhite and the Western Samoan Rugby Union joining forces to form Manu Samoa Rugby Limited. Fay Richwhite invested $5 million from 1995 to 2004 into Samoan rugby.

Samoa emerged from the 1999 World Cup with its honor intact after another shock 38–31 victory over host nation Wales in the pool stages. They again lost out to Scotland in the quarter final play-off.

Manu Samoa qualified for the 2003 World Cup with a 17–16 loss against Fiji, Earl Va'a missing an injury-time penalty. They recovered to beat Tonga both home and away and avenged that Fijian defeat with a 22–12 win in Nadi. They ultimately had to settle for second place in the round robin, behind Fiji on points difference, and a place in the tougher of the two Rugby World Cup 2003 pools alongside automatic qualifiers England and South Africa. In one of the games of the tournament, they led eventual champions England for most of the game before losing 35–22.

Samoa qualified for the 2011 World Cup after beating Papua New Guinea 73–12 in Port Moresby on 18 July 2009. They won 188–19 on aggregate over two matches against Papua New Guinea, having won 115–7 at Apia Park the previous week.

Samoa began their 2011 World Cup campaign preparation with a flying start, after registering an upset against No.2 ranked Australia with a four-try-to-two win of 32–23.

World Cup record

In one of the scenes of the feature film, Invictus, Western Samoa can be seen playing South Africa in the 1995 Rugby World Cup.

Overall record

Below is table of the representative rugby matches played by a Samoa national XV at test level up until 26 November 2016.

Current squad

On 17 October, Alama Ieremia named a 33-man squad ahead of their 2016 November internationals against France (12 November), Georgia (19 November) and Canada (25 November).

Talaga Alofipo was later called up to the squad ahead of the first test against France.

  • Head Coach: Alama Ieremia
  • Assistant Coach: Semo Sititi
  • Assistant Coach: Richard Watt
  • Assistant Coach: Daniel Cron
  • Caps Updated: 26 November 2016
  • Note: Flags indicate national union for the club/province as defined by World Rugby.

    Most caps

    Last updated: Samoa vs Canada, 25 November 2016. Statistics include officially capped matches only.

    Most tries

    Last updated: Samoa vs Canada, 25 November 2016. Statistics include officially capped matches only.

    Most points

    Last updated: Samoa v s Canada, 25 November 2016. Statistics include officially capped matches only.

    Most points in a match

    Last updated: Samoa vs Canada, 25 November 2016. Statistics include officially capped matches only.

    Most tries in a match

    Last updated: Scotland vs Samoa, 10 October 2015. Statistics include officially capped matches only.

    Most matches as captain

    Last updated: Samoa vs Canada, 25 November 2016. Statistics include officially capped matches only.

    Youngest players

    Last updated: Samoa vs Georgia, 11 June 2016. Statistics include officially capped matches only.

    Oldest players

    Last updated: Samoa vs Canada, 25 November 2016. Statistics include officially capped matches only.

    The New Zealand connection

    Western Samoa's triumph in the 1991 Rugby World Cup was inspired by their assistant coach Bryan Williams, who was a New Zealand-born (of Samoan descent) All Black great of the 1970s. The 1991 Samoan World Cup team included many New Zealand born or raised players; the catalyst was Auckland prop Peter Fatialofa, who in 1989, became the first major New Zealand-based player to play for Samoa. By the time of the 1991 World Cup several other New Zealand-born Samoans like Pat Lam, Stephen Bachop, Frank Bunce and Apollo Perelini had joined him. New Zealand born players with Samoan parentage have played for Samoa, such as Earl Va'a, Pat Lam and Lome Fa'atau.

    The rugby relationship that exists between New Zealand and Samoa is a complex one. Close ties exist between the two countries, these bonds first being formed with the start of mass Polynesian migration to New Zealand in the latter half of the twentieth century. In the 2007 World Cup there were 14 New Zealand-born players in the Samoan squad. The only team with more foreign born players in their squad was Italy who had 15.

    Playing apparel

    Traditionally, Samoa plays with a home strip consistant of a blue shirt, white shorts and blue socks and the away kit with the reversed colours.


    Samoa national rugby union team Wikipedia