SPORTS

‘Samu Manoa Belongs In World XV’

Kahn Fotual’i, the Samoa scrum-half, is wary of the threat of the United States and in particular his former Northampton club mate Samu Manoa. The teams meet at the Brighton
15 Sep 2015 10:26
‘Samu Manoa Belongs In World XV’
Samoas Kahn Fotual’i and USA’s Samu Manoa playing together for Northampton.

Kahn Fotual’i, the Samoa scrum-half, is wary of the threat of the United States and in particular his former Northampton club mate Samu Manoa.

The teams meet at the Brighton Community Stadium on Monday in a Pool B encounter and it is the lock, now on the payroll of Toulon, who will be a key man for the Eagles.

Manoa was plucked from the relative obscurity of American league rugby four years ago and made an enormous impact with Northampton.

 

AMAZING ATHLETE

Fotuali’i said: “Samu is a fantastic all-round player and an amazing athlete. He is one of the best forwards I’ve seen and I’d pick him in a World XV. He is not just a strong man, he is also very smart and never gives away silly penalties and we’ll have to show him a lot of respect.

“We certainly won’t underestimate the Americans. They have a quick back row and some very fast backs and they will be a threat. But our team as a group has its goals and we can do very well at this World Cup. The match against the All Blacks in July was an awesome experience for us and I think it showed we have what it takes.”

At Apia in the summer Samoa were beaten by the world champions 25-16 but Richie McCaw admitted afterwards that the game had been as tough as any he has faced, with Bath’s back-row Alafoti Fa’osiliva scoring a try that rattled the All Blacks.

 

HISTORIC EVENT

Jack Lam, the Bristol flanker who also played that day, said: “It was the biggest game I’ve ever played in, a massive, historical event for us and the performance was a huge lift for the squad. We are building nicely towards the game against the United States and I don’t see any reason why we can’t win the pool.”

The Samoa players trained at their base at the University of Brighton on Sunday afternoon alongside guest players from the local club, with retired referee Alain Rolland on hand to officiate.

Samoa is awaiting the arrival of Census Johnston, who also played in Apia. The former Saracens player is flying in from Toulouse to replace the injured Leicester prop Logovi’i Mulipola despite having recently announced he had retired from international rugby.

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