The Samoan squad:
Willie Poching (captain)
Jerry Seu Seu
|Group 4 news
The once feared Pacific Islanders have been dealt a massive blow ahead of the tournament with the loss of two key players. St Helens pair Apollo Perelini and Fereti Tuilagi have both opted to switch codes to Rugby Union and join Sale and Leicester respectively. Samoa still have enough fire power to reach the last eight of the World Cup though.
Samoan Rugby League was only created 14 years ago and only has 36 clubs operating in the leagues on the Islands south side. Most of their squad's recognised players are operation in leagues in Australia, New Zealand and England. Wakefield Trinity Wildcats' loose forward Willie Poching and team-mate Tony Tatupu will be in the side, with the former taking on the role as captain.
There is certainly no shortage of rough and tough forwards in the Samoa side with David Solomona, Joe Gulavao and Frank Puletua out to enhance the country's reputation on that front. Samoan coach Darrell Williams must try to work on the temperament of the team, and if the players can be restricted to sin bin visits then the pack can lay strong foundations and possibly win a couple of matches in the toughest group in the competition.
Samoa will really have to dominate up front in the forwards for their back play is to come to the fore.