Manu Samoa and Australia test critical for World Cup, former Wallaby says

The Classic Wallabies are in Samoa delivering coaching clinics this week, and Morgan Turinui is looking forward to the current side playing the Manu next month.

The former Australia centre played in the Wallabies last win over Samoa, 73-7 back in 2005, one of just five tests between the two nations.

“Thankfully we won that one, otherwise I wouldn’t be here today," he laughed.

“It’d be nice to win [on September 7th] because we lost last time!"

Samoa famously beat the Wallabies 23-32 in July 2011 in a World Cup warm-up match, and will be searching for a similarly inspirational result to take to Japan later this year.

“It’s an important hit-out for both teams going to the World Cup," said Turinui.

He said the Manu will be stronger for the extended time they have spent in camp together, which is a rarity over the rest of the four-year World Cup cycle.

“The great thing is we get to see the best of the Samoan team.

“That was a really good case in point that June [2005] test, because I’d say the team was strung together 10 days before off the back of their season."

Turinui said the match should be a good warm-up for the Wallabies opening World Cup fixture against Fiji as well.

“The physicality will be good for us to be prepared for that."

His first Wallabies tour roommate was legendary fullback Chris Latham, who is now the Manu attack coach.

Turinui said he was an outstanding, amazing player.

“Probably one of the most professional players in terms of preparation.

“Left no stone unturned as a player to be as good as he could be, which I think set him up to be a great coach."

He said the main things Latham brings to the role are that attention to detail, as well as the knowledge gained over 78 test matches.

“I think Samoa are very lucky to have him, he could be a great influence on Samoan rugby."

Morgan Turinui played 20 tests for the Wallabies between 2003 and 2005, and also played for Australia A in their 15-20 win over Samoa at Apia Park during the 2008 Pacific Nations Cup, which was his most recent visit to the island.

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