The Manu Samoa touring party for the northern hemisphere was today announced by Lakapi Samoa Chairman, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi at a press conference in Apia, Samoa.
The Northern Hemisphere Tour is the first northern tour for the Samoan outfit since 2019 and since Vaovasamanaia Seilala Mapusua took over as head coach. It features three Test matches against Italy on November 5 in Padua, Georgia on November 12 in Tbilisi, and Romania on November 19 in Bucharest.
Vaovasamanaia is looking forward to using the tour as part of the build-up to the Rugby World Cup 2023 in France on the back of winning the 2022 World Rugby Pacific Nations Cup in Fiji this past July.
“The Northern Hemisphere tour will provide plenty of challenges with three very tough test matches against quality opponents,” he said.
Adding they are looking to build on the success of the Pacific Nations Cup win and keep developing how we want to play, whilst also having a good look at our talent pool for our RWC2023 team selection.
“We do not have many test matches to prepare for rugby’s pinnacle event so we are maximising on every opportunity that presents itself”
“There is a balanced mix of young and experienced players with two local players rewarded for their strong performances in local competitions.
The majority of the team are northern based, and includes eight uncapped players making their debut for Samoa including those eligible from the recent change in World Rugby eligibility rules.
With only six tests this year, the team looks to further build on the given matches. “We are excited to be going on a what will be a difficult tour, especially after the disruptions and challenges over the past two years.
This has been the most difficult team to select with the quality of players available.
“We are building some quality depth and I look forward to working with this group. “I am thrilled for the opportunity for our Manu Samoa to end what has been a good yet tough year on a high.
And as always, we appreciate all the support and encouragement from our people and supporters both here in Samoa and around the world” Vaovasamanaia added.