Manu Samoa announces squad to face the Barbarians in Twickenham

Manu Samoa has announced its squad to take on the Barbarians at Twickenham in London for the Killik Cup on November 27.

Manu Samoa Head Coach, Vaovasamanaia Seilala Mapusua has assembled a well-balanced team from the Northern Hemisphere, to represent their country in what should be a tough and thrilling match.

The Barbarian's fixture is the only match to be played from the cancelled end-of-year tour of Europe due to Covid-19 restrictions. Vaovasamanaia and his permanent staff were unable to travel, prompting the selection of the coaching and management staff from up North to lead the team.

The team features a balanced mix of young and experienced players to face a robust and world class Baa-baas team. Some of the selected players will make their swansong appearances including veteran forward Joe Tekori, who has contributed immensely to the team over the years and currently still playing top level rugby in France. He is joined by Sakaria Taulafo currently playing at Rugby United New York in the United States, Viliamu Afatia, playing in France, and Sinoti Sinoti who has been a UK fan favourite in his recent stint with the Newcastle Falcons.

The team also features ten players making their debut, and a great opportunity for up and coming talents such as fly half AJ Alatimu, to command the game at this level.

Vaovasamanaia is working virtually on preparations with the team, and will be cheering on from his home in Samoa and excited for what will be a thriller of a performance.

"Congratulations to everyone on their selection." Said Vaovasamanaia.

"We are under no illusions at the enormity of the task ahead in our match against the Barbarians. I do believe we have selected a well-balanced, exciting group of players who have a great opportunity to add to the rich history of Barbarians matches.

"I am excited for the management group and players for the opportunity to play at HQ and also for our supporters and fans that Manu Samoa gets to take the field for the last international match of 2021." He added.

The Manu Samoa team is as follows:

Afaesetiti Amosa - Vailele & Fasitoo-tai - Aviron Bayonnais, France

AJ Alatimu - Avao - Seattle Seawolves, USA

Aki Seiuli - Pata, Falelatai & Sapunaoa - Dragons Rugby, Wales

Alexander Luatua - Saleimoa - Rouen Normandie Rugby, France

Aviata Silago - Salelesi & Solosolo - USON Nevers Rugby, France

Benjamin Nee-Nee - Lalomanu & Salesatele - Kamaishi Seawaves, Japan

Elijah Niko - Tafitoala & Alafua - Stade Aurilac, France

JJ Taulagi - Saleimoa & Matatufu - Racing Club Narbonnais, France

Joe Tekori - Vailele & Asau - Stade Toulousain, France

John Ulugia - Saleimoa & Faleula - Aviron Bayonne, France

Mathew Luamanu - Siumu - Merthyr RFC, Wales

Michael Alaalatoa - Fasitoo-uta & Apia - Leinster Rugby, Ireland

Mikaele Tapili - Leulumoega Tuai & Falefa - CAP PĂ©rigueux, France

Nigel Hunt - Vaitoloa & Satuiatua - Sporting Club Royannais, France

Opetera Peleseuma - Manono-tai & Falelatai - Rouen Normandie Rugby, France

Paul Alo-Emile - Falefa & Leulumoega (Captain) - Stade Français Paris, France

Reece Anapu - Vaigaga - Western Force, Australia

Sakaria Taulafo - Asau & Amaile - Rugby United New York, USA/ Sporting Club Graulhetois, France

Salo Tutaia - Nofoalii & Lefaga - Merthyr RFC, Wales

Senio Toleafoa - Fasitoo-tai & Nofoalii - North Harbour, New Zealand

Sinoti Sinoti - Manono & Pata, Falelatai - Northern United

Taiso Silafai Leaana - Saanapu - Sporting Club Albigeous, France

Tala Gray - Vailoa, Palauli & Nofoalii - Stade Francais Paris, France

Viliamu Afatia - Salelavalu & Vaiala - Sporting Club Albigeois, France

Lemalu Tusi Pisi - Toamua & Safatoa, Lefaga (Co-Coach)

Census Johnston - Lalomanu & Falevao (Co-Coach)

Terry Fanolua - Solosolo & Saleimoa (TA)

Kane Thompson - Apia (TA)

Niuafolau Faautu Talapusi - Vaiala & Fasitoo-uta (Team Manager)

(Nb - An additional player will be added to the squad.)

Tickets are still available for the Manu Samoa and Barbarians clash at Twickenham on Saturday, Nov 27 at 1430hrs.

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