Alalatoa headlines Manu Samoa pre-World Cup squad
The Manu Samoa have unveiled a pre-World Cup campaign squad that includes six new players.
The team will play two warm-up matches before heading to the Rugby World Cup.
The headline recruits are prop, Michael Alaalatoa, and halfback Scott Malolua, who have linked up with the squad in Auckland, New Zealand ahead of potential international debuts.
Alaalatoa, 27, is the son of former Manu prop Vili, and grew up in Sydney.
He has played Super Rugby for the Crusaders since 2016. (He could face off against his brother, Allan, when Manu Samoa play the Wallabies on September 7th.)
Samoan-born Malolua, 26,. made his Super Rugby debut for the Queensland Reds in May and ended the season as their starting halfback.
Also with the team now are lock and loose forward Josh Tyrell, first five Tusi Pisi, wing Ed Fidow and utility back Tim Nanai-Williams, who all missed the Pacific Nations Cup campaign.
With halfback Melani Matavao’s return to the side from injury, management have dropped six players from the Pacific Nations Cup squad.
They are outside backs Jamie-Jerry Taulagi and Johnny Vaili, halfbacks Auvasa Faleali’i and Pelefofoga Cowley, hooker Elia Elia and prop Alofaaga Sao.
The Manu Samoa will play the New Zealand Heartland XV in Auckland on August 31st then the Wallabies in Sydney, Australia on September 7th before leaving for the World Cup in Japan on the 10th.
Manu Samoa squad of 34 in camp in Auckland:
Hookers: Seilala Lam, Motu Matu’u, Ray Niuia
Props: Michael Alaalatoa, Paul Alo-Emile, James Lay, Jordan Lay, Logovi’i Mulipola
Locks: Kane Le’aupepe, Teofilo Paulo, Senio Toleafoa, Josh Tyrell
Loose forwards: Afa Aiono, Afaesetiti Amosa, Piula Fa’asalele, TJ Ioane, Jack Lam, Tofatuimoana Solia, Henry Stowers, Chris Vui
Halfbacks: Scott Malolua, Melani Matavao, Dwayne Polataivao
First fives: AJ Alatimu, Tusi Pisi, Ulupano Seuteni
Midfielders: Kieron Fonotia, Rey Lee-Lo, Alapati Leiua, Henry Taefu
Outside backs: Ed Fidow, Tim Nanai-Williams, Ahsee Tuala, Belgium Tuatagaloa