Samoa qualified as 13th team of Rugby World Cup France 2023 after winning a double-header against Tonga (42-13, 37-15), confirming a 9th consecutive Rugby World Cup participation. The Pacific Islanders will face England, Japan, Argentina and the Americas 2 qualifier in Pool D and won't be a team that anyone will underestimate.
Led by their captain Michael Alaalatoa, the Manu Samoa will bring a strong challenge to the competition, notably through centre Henry Taefu, hero of the qualifications against Tonga with 37 points scored.
Historically present in France, where Census Johnston, Henry Tuilagi and Iosefa Tekori are household names, the Manu Samoa will hope for a more successful tournament than RWC 2007 where they finished fourth in Pool A. New coach Seilala Mapusua was a member of that Samoa team.
In 2023, Samoa will look to match the performance of 1990’s Samoa sides that reached the quarter final stages (1991, 1995) under the leadership of the legendary and 5-time Rugby World Cup participant Brian Lima. A record he currently shares with Italy’s Sergio Parisse and Mauro Bergamasco.