Manu Samoa prop in Samoa A squad

Manu Samoa prop, Alofaaga Sao, is one of the headliners in Samoa A's 62-strong training squad for the World Rugby Americas Pacific Challenge in November.

Having missed out on the Manu squad for the Rugby World Cup and warm-up matches, 21-year old Vikings prop Sao will likely be a part of the side that head to Uruguay looking to defend the title they won last year.

He is one of 14 players selected out of the Savai'i Vikings franchise, which reached the semifinals of this year's Super 9.

Speedy Vikings outside back Pesamino Iakopo is also in the training group, having made the semifinals of the 100m at the Pacific Games athletics in July.

Iakopo will compete for Don Bosco in the Champ of Champs athletics on Friday, where he will come up against fellow Samoa A squadmate Tuna Tuitama of Leulumoega Fou College.

A'ana fullback Tuitama is one of 20 Chiefs players in the squad, more than any other Super 9 Franchise.

That group includes forwards Noel Sanft and Mikaele Tapili, who missed the 2019 Chiefs season having gone to Hawke's Bay, New Zealand to play for Taradale Rugby Club.

Chiefs and most recent Samoa A skipper Afa Aiono is also in the mix, although he is currently in Auckland as part of the 34-strong Manu Samoa squad, with three players to be cut before the Rugby World Cup.

Super 9 champions the Vaimauga Eels contribute 14 players to the squad, including Patrick Fa'apale and Malu Falaniko who were non-travelling reserves for the Manu's Pacific Nations Cup campaign.

The Faleata Knights had seven players picked for the Samoa A training squad, with the Atua Legends, Southern Tornadoes, Savai'i Warriors and Tuamasaga Eagles having one player picked each.

Training for the forwards begins on Tuesday, with backs asked to report to the Samoa Rugby Union's High Performance Unit next Wednesday.

Samoa A training squad

Setu Enoka (Vikings)
Saini Iese (Vikings)
Agape Mauafu (Chiefs)
Nafi Demont (Vikings)
Christian Finau (Knights)
Alofa'aga Sao (Vikings)
Brook Toomalatai (Navigators)
Siliva Tapu (Eels)
Steve Eliu (Knights)
Frank Sio (Knights)

Afa Aiono (Chiefs)
Albert Onelei (Vikings)
Jenny Ta’ateo (Chiefs)
Noel Sanft (Chiefs)
Jonathan Skipps (Vikings)

Theo McFarland (Vikings)
Ikifusi Matamu (Eels)
Aukusitino Ulugia (Vikings)
Ioelu Kitiona (Chiefs)
Liahona Vaegaau (Chiefs)
Kerisimasi Savaiinaea (Vikings)
Steve Tuiuli (Eels)

Loose forwards
Elia Tolufale (Chiefs)
Nissan Aitui (Vikings)
AJ Sagaga (Eels)
Fagu Malloy (Eels)
Roma Leuluaialii (Knights)
Mikaele Tapili (Chiefs)
Setu Sikoti (Legends)
Anzac Pago (Vikings)
Pao Lauama (Chiefs)

Pupi Ah See (Chiefs)
Ionatana Tino (Eels)
Vaimoli Toniga (Knights)
Desmond Sepulona (Vikings)
Collin Palamo (Tornadoes)

First fives
Patrick Fa'apale (Eels)
Andrew Wulf (Eels)
Reupena Seveali'i (Chiefs)
Jordan Muese (Warriors)
Alosio Afa (Knights)
Joyner Key (Chiefs)

Pio Fuiono (Navigators)
Chris Leota (Chiefs)
Faleniu Iosi (Eels)
Tulolo Tulolo (Chiefs)
Frank Tato (Vikings)
Niueta Avaoletuna (Eagles)
Fomai Fomai (Eels)
Fa'aliliu Mitivao (Chiefs)
Malu Fagalele (Chiefs)

Outside Backs
Papu Wulf (Navigators)
Taunuu Niulevaea (Chiefs)
Tuna Tuitama (Chiefs)
Evana Eli (Eels)
Dennis Maresa (Eels)
Pesamino Iakopo (Vikings)
Henry Wulf (Eels)
Malu Falaniko (Eels)
Larry Mitivao (Chiefs)
Filimoni Filimoni (Knights)
Mathew Evile (Chiefs)

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