Samoa U20 selected for Oceania Trophy
The Samoa Rugby Union have announced the 36 players in their Under-20 squad who will compete in the 2020 Oceania Rugby Under-20 Trophy.
The squad features 28 locally-based players, with a further eight playing their rugby in New Zealand.
Nine Vaimauga Eels players have been selected, reflecting the franchise’s 2019 Super 9 winning team.
A wider training squad had been training over the last couple of months, although the measles state of emergency made that difficult for head coach Falanaipupu Setu Tuilaepa and his management team, with all people under 19-years-old being banned from any public gathering.
Work resumed when the state of emergency was lifted, and final trials were held on Wednesday.
The 2020 Oceania Trophy will be Samoa U20’s first competition since December 2018, when they lost both matches of that year’s event to Tonga at home, costing Samoa a place at the 2019 World Rugby Under-20 Trophy, the second tier of competition in the age-grade.
The last time Samoa played at the highest level, the World Rugby U20 Championship, was in 2017.
A spot at the 2020 World Rugby U20 Trophy is again on the line for Samoa, with that tournament to be played in Spain in September.
Oceania Rugby are yet to announce where and when their Trophy will be held.
Samoa Under-20 squad (franchise/province/club in brackets):
Jack Laban (Tuamasaga Eagles)
Peter Sanele Jacob Sam Ling (A’ana Chiefs)
Zephaniah Onesemo (Atua Legends)
Luatimu Amataga (Atua Legends)
Seuteni Junior Seuteni (Vaimauga Eels)
William Sihkori Toala (A’ana Chiefs)
Aiesi Simeti (Faleata Knights)
Pena Junior Taumata (Bay of Plenty)
Mesulame Skelton (Vaimauga Eels)
Mathew Leoleoga Pleaaesina (Safata Navigators)
Mark Tui Tusigaigoa (Safata Navigators)
Iakopo Selausene (Atua Legends)
Siope Semisi Siope (Faleata Knights)
Ailepata Jounior Leafa Lemalu (Counties Manukau)
Faamaoni Lalomilo (Varsity)
Kaisa Alauni Fatu (A’ana Chiefs)
Villiamu Junior East Timor Faamatuainu (Safata Navigators)
Brandon Collins (North Harbour)
Phillipe Toelupe (Vaimauga Eels)
Steve Onosa’i (Vaimauga Eels)
Louis Bartley-Saena (Vaimauga Eels)
Sekuini Tanimo (North Harbour)
Taunu’u Niulevaea (A’ana Chiefs)
Alesana Lilomaiava (Safata Navigators)
Paul Faoagali (Counties Manukau)
Faafoi Falaniko (Atua Legends)
Luke Ezra Elisara Malietoa (Vaimauga Eels)
Eliu Hunt (Vaimauga Eels)
Conor Felise Jonathon Moors (Auckland)
Owen Niue (Vaimauga Eels)
Reupena Seveali’i (A’ana Chiefs)
Farani Ah Sam (Atua Legends)
Indiha Sao Tui Huta (Taranaki)
Andrew Wulf (Vaimauga Eels)
Malo Feagia’I (Atua Legends)
Head Coach: Falanaipupu Setu Tuilaepa
Assistant Coaches: Malu Lolo Lui, Galumalemana Rudolf Moors
Technical Advisors: Matamua Filipo Saena, Tausa Faamaoni Lalomilo
Manager: Onosa’i So’o