A range of players who are active in English, French and Japanese leagues, as well as in Vodacom Super Rugby has been selected by Samoan coach Stephen Betham, who will bring probably the strongest squad ever assembled outside a World Cup to play in The Castle Lager Incoming Series, also involving the Springboks, Italy and Scotland.
While old hands such as Alesana Tuilagi, Cencus Johnson and former Blues fullback Paul Williams are all there, the squad also boasts the Pisi brothers – George and Tui – with George now with Northampton while Tui is in South Africa at the moment with the Hurricanes squad.
Vodacom Super Rugby players include Canes flanker Jack Lam, hooker Manu Leiataua and Canes winger Alapati Leiua.
The British based contingent includes Leceister Tigers porp Logovii Mulipola, Newcastle’s Taiasina Tuifua and Sale’s Johnny Leota.
Samoa will kick off their tour with a friendly match against the Lions at Ellis Park on June 1st.
Samoan squad to tour South Africa
Fullbacks. Paul Williams – Stade Francais, France James Sooialo – Wellington Norths, NZ
Wings: Alesana Tuilagi – NTT Shining Arcs Japan, Alapati Leiua – Hurricanes NZ, Robert Lilomaiava – Vaiala Rugby Club Samoa, **(one more to be added)**
Midfield: George Pisi – Northampton Saints UK, Johnny Leota – Sale Sharks UK, Isaia Tuifua – Vigo Rugby Club, Spain, Brandon Vaaulu – Tokyo Gas, Japan
First Fives: Tusiata Pisi – Wellington Hurricanes Ki Anufe – Marist Auckland
Halfback: Kahn Fotualii – Ospreys Wales, Jeremy Sua – Canterbury Crusaders, Auvasa Falealii – Thas Newcastle Australia
Loose Forwards: Taiasina Tuifua – Newcastle Falcons UK, Alafoti Faosiliva – Bristol Rugby Club, Ofisa Treviranus – London Irish, UK, Jack Lam – Hurricanes, NZ, Maurie Faasavalu – Harlequins UK, Faalemiga Selesele – Moata’a, Samoa ** (one to be added) **
Locks: Kane Thompson – Canon Eagles, Japan Iosefa Tekori – Casters Olympic, France, Daniel Leo – Perpignan, France, Teofilo Paulo – Cardiff Blues, Wales
Props : Cencus Johnston – Tolouse France, Logovii Mulipola – Leicester Tigers UK, Sakaria Taulafo – London Wasp UK, James Johnston – Harlequins UK
Hookers: Tii Paulo – ASM Clermont France Wayne Ole Avei – Bordeaux Beagles, Manu Leiataua – North Harbor NZ
1. Head Coach – Stephen Betham
2. Team Manager – Namulauulu Sami Leota
3. Assistant Coach Backs – Darryl Suasua
4. Assistant Coach Forwards – Gregory Smith
5. Scrum Coach – Michael Casey
6. Video Analyst – Junior Narayan
7. Strength & Conditioning Coach – Michael Deasy
8. Logistics Officer – Uitiriai Kapeteni
9. Team Doctor – Dr Navy Collins
10. Physiotherapist 1 – Jodie McCarthy
11. Physiotherapist 2 – Sue Pescud
12. Set Piece Skills Coach – TBC
13. Development Coach - TBC