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Rugby World Cup Rugby World Cup: Samoa name 31-man squad

Pacific Nations Cup finalists Samoa are the first side to name their 31-man squad for the Rugby World Cup.

  • Published:
play (Omni Sports)

All three Pisi brothers - Tusiata, Ken and George - have been named in the Samoa squad for the Rugby World Cup along with Logovii Mulipola

Leicester Tigers prop Mulipola is among the roster despite having not featured for his country in more than a year while Rey Lee-Lo makes his first international appearance since November.

Alongside the Pisi brothers, prop Jake Grey, scrum-half Vavao Afemai, and fly-half Patrick Fa'apale did enough in the Pacific Nations Cup (PNC) to earn a place in Stephen Betham's 31-man squad.

Samoa reached the final of the PNC before losing to Fiji with the locally based trio set to feature alongside captain Ofisa Treviranus and vice-captain Alesana Tuilagi.

"Of course we are disappointed we didn"t get the result we wanted [at the PNC] but if we consider the bigger picture, we know the task was to test our depth and to give players an opportunity to rise to the occasion," said Samoa coach Betham.

"Some obviously did, and some weren't quite strong enough to unseat the established professional players in their positions.

"We have had some late challenges with injuries ruling out valuable players such as James Johnston (leg), Pele Cowley (shoulder) and David Lemi (back).

"This has been an incredibly difficult selection process as we have had to leave behind some excellent players, including those who performed well at PNC.

"But we cannot take everyone, and there is comfort is knowing that we have depth should we need to call on it."

Samoa open their campaign against United States in Pool B on September 20.

Forwards: Viliamu Afatia, Jake Grey, Logovii Mulipola, Anthony Perenise, Sakaria Taulafo, Wayne Ole Avei, Ma'atulimanu Leiataua, Motu Matu'u, Faatiga Lemalu, Teofilo Paulo, Kane Thompson, Iosefa (Joe) Tekori, Maurie Faasavalu, Alafoti Faosiliva, TJ Ioane, Jack Lam, Vavae Tuilagi, Ofisa Treviranus (captain).

Backs: Vavao Afemai, Kahn Fotualii, Patrick Fa'apale, Tusiata Pisi, Mike Stanley, Rey Lee-Lo, Johnny Leota, George Pisi, Paul Perez, Fa'atoina Autagavaia, Ken Pisi, Tim Nanai-Williams, Alesana Tuilagi (vice-captain).

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