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Rugby League World Cup 2000
Ray French's team guide
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World Cup News

The Samoan squad:

Willie Poching (captain)
Monty Betham
Henry Faafili
Max Fala
Maika Felise
Beau Gallagher
Simon Geros
Joe Gulavao
Vae Kololo
Shane Laloata
Mark Leafa
Brian Leauma
Jamaal Loloesi
Francis Meli
Laloa Milford
Fred Petersen
Frank Puletua
Jerry Seu Seu
David Solomona
Anthony Swann
Willie Swann
Albert Talipeau
Tony Tatupu
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.