Piula Fa'asalele'a World Cup Campaign suffers blow with broken wrist
Manu Samoa loosie Piula Fa’asalele missed the last Rugby World Cup through injury, and a broken wrist has put his 2019 campaign in jeopardy too.
The 31-year-old came off at halftime during Samoa’s Pacific Nations Cup loss to U.S.A. on Saturday, having captained the Manu for the very first time.
A regular in the national team since his 2013 debut, Fa’asalele missed out on the 2015 World Cup with an A.C.L. (anterior cruciate ligament) injury.
Radio New Zealand reported he is out for six weeks for surgery to a broken wrist, so will miss the remainder of Samoa’s build-up games but could be fit for the World Cup opener against Russia on September 24th.
As one of the Manu’s eight-strong leadership group, Fa’asalele’s injury is a real loss for Samoa’s three remaining pre-R.W.C. games against Fiji, New Zealand Heartland XV and Australia.
His absence puts a dent in the loose forward stocks, where Tofatuimoana Solia is still out with a P.C.L. (posterior cruciate ligament) injury and Jack Lam is making his way back from a knee complaint.
Lock/loosie Tupa’i Chris Vui was rested against the U.S.A. last weekend, so could take Fa’asalele’s place in the squad to play Fiji, while Afaesetiti Amosa looks a good bet to resume at number eight given his strong Pacific Nations Cup form.
Prior to the Manu’s first P.N.C. game against Tonga, Fa’asalele said he hoped to make the World Cup squad:
“I was gutted last time, but there’s a reason for everything so, I guess maybe this year’s our year.
“I want us to win the World Cup, that’s in my head."