by Skola Sengi – EM TV Sports, Port Moresby
After a successful campaign in the 2015 Pacific Nations Cup earlier this month, Manu Samoa have named a final 31-man squad for the Rugby World Cup which begins in England this September.
Head Coach Stephen Betham said that the trim down was tough, but he remains confident that the squad has the element of depth which will be vital come game time.
Ofisa Treviranus has been named as skipper to lead the side, which features local trio Jake Grey, Vavao Afemai and Patrick Faapale and the return of prop Logovii Mulipola and midfielder Rey Lee Lo.
Prop James Johnston, halfback Pele Cowley and former captain David Lemi have been ruled out due to injury, and despite coming out of retirement veteran prop Census Johnston also missed the cut.
Samoa will play the Barbarians and Wasps in their two lead-up fixtures. Samoa are placed in Pool B and will take on USA on the 23rd of September in their first pool match.
The full squad:
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), 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 and Alesana Tuilagi (vice captain).