Samoa have not progressed beyond the pool stage at any of the previous three World Cups. But the Pacific Islanders might fancy their chances in Pool B at England 2015.
South Africa are favourites to win the group. However, with Samoa only two places behind Scotland in the world rankings, it could be a close battle for the runner-up spot.
THE MANU SIVA TAU
Similar to the New Zealand haka, the ‘Manu Siva Tau’ is a Samoan war dance which the national rugby union team perform before each match. The Siva Tau was composed before Rugby World Cup 1991 and has been used ever since.
Here are the words (with English translation):
Watch Samoa perform the Manu Siva Tau at Rugby World Cup 2011:
Forwards: Viliamu Afatia, Jake Grey, Logovii Muliopla, Anthony Perenise, Sakaria Taulafo, Wayne Ole Avei, Manu Leiataua, Mota Matu’u, Faatiga Lemalu, Filo Paulo, Kane Thompson, Joe Tekori, Maurie Faasavalu, Alafoti Faosiliva, TJ Ioane, Jack Lam, Vavae Tuilagi, Ofisa Treviranus (c).
Backs: Vavao Afemi, Kahn Fotuali’i, Patrick Faapale, Tusiata Pisi, Mike Stanley, Rey Lee Lo, Johnny Leota, George Pisi, Paul Perez, Faatoina Autagavaia, Ken Pisi, Tim Nanai Williams, Alesana Tuilagi.
ONE TO WATCH
Alesana Tuilagi: The older brother of England outcast, Manu Tuilagi. The well-travelled winger has played his club rugby in Italy, England and Japan before moving back to the Premiership with Newcastle Falcons in May 2014.
A combination of speed and strength makes him a difficult opponent for any defence. He even scored four tries in one match against Tonga in 2005. But at 34, this is likely to be Alesana’s last World Cup.
Gateshead International Stadium, Gateshead Leisure Centre, Gateshead College
MATCHES (Pool B)
Sun 20 Sept: Samoa v USA(Brighton Community Stadium, 12pm)
Sat 26 Sept: South Africa v Samoa (Villa Park,4:45pm)
Sat 3 Oct: Samoav Japan (Stadium mk, 2:30pm)
SAT 10 OCT: SAMOAV SCOTLAND (ST JAMES’ PARK, 2:30PM)