Big guns return for Samoa
July 14, 2011
Leicester winger Alesana Tuilagi will line up against the Wallabies in Sydney © Getty Images
Samoa head coach Fuimaono Titimaea Tafua has named a strong side to tackle Australia at the ANZ Stadium in Sydney on Sunday.
Highlanders' hooker Mahonri Schwalger will lead a side that includes Leicester winger Alesana Tuilagi, London Irish speedster Sailosi Tagicakibau, Japan-bound centre Seilala Mapusua and new Ospreys signing George Stowers. None of the players that featured in the 29-19 Pacific Nations Cup defeat to Tonga in Lautoka on Wednesday make the line-up for the Wallabies clash although five of them are included in the replacements.
Samoa, who beat eventual champions Japan and lost to Fiji in their other two Pacific Nations Cup clashes, boast five players from clubs in New Zealand and England, two each from France and Japan and one from Wales with 11 players having Super Rugby experience.
Tafua, whose side are looking to overturn a 74-7 reverse suffered back in 2005, said he's using the next few months to find the best team to compete at the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand in September and October. "The defeat by Tonga, will not affect the team's preparations against the Wallabies in the weekend," Tafua said.
"Manu Samoa's preparations for PNC, the Test against Australia and two home fixtures against Western Force is all part of the selection for a RWC team for Samoa. There will be a slight change to this weekend's selection, but so far preparations for the Wallabies Test is all good and we look forward to the Test this weekend."
During his time at the Crusaders, Wallabies coach Robbie Deans had five of the squad under his tutelage - prop Sakaria Taulafo, fly-half Tusi Pisi, fullback Paul Williams, reserve hooker Tii Paulo and playmaker Kahn Fotuali'i
Samoa: Paul Williams; Sailosi Tagicakibau, George Pisi, Seilala Mapusua, Alesana Tuilagi; Tusi Pisi, Kahn Fotuali'I, Sakaria Taulafo, Mahonri Schwalger (captain), Anthony Perenise, Kane Thompson, Daniel Leo, Taisina Tuifu'a, Maurie Fa'asavalu, George Stowers
Replacements: Tii Paulo, Census Johnston, Filipo Lavea Levi, Manaia Salavea, Brenton Helleur, Eliota Fuimaono Sapolu, James So'oialo
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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