28 Aug 2015

Williams gutted by omission from Samoa World Cup side

11:47 am on 28 August 2015

Former Manu Samoa fullback Paul Williams admits he was bitterly disappointed to miss out on a spot in the Rugby World Cup.

The 32 year old has played 18 tests, including all four pool matches at the 2011 World Cup, but played for Samoa since 2013.

Head coach Stephen Betham says when they selected the team to play the All Blacks and Pacific Nations Cup on form, Williams had just come back from injury.

The Stade Francais custodian will start for the Barbarians against his countrymen this weekend and says he's still extremely passionate about the game back in the islands.

"I'm certainly never going to retire from Samoan rugby and if they'll have me I'm there. I was in Apia for the test and it was a great occasion but I would have loved to have been out there. The feedback I was getting was that they were interested in having me involved so it was a wee bit of a shock once I wasn't but that's rugby sometimes so onwards and upwards. I was very proud of my time with the team and if my time has finished with Samoa it would be a nice way to sign off".

Williams says he's looking forward to playing for the Barbarians team and against a number of familiar faces.

"It's a very unique and special occasion where I get to play against my old team. I've been fortunately invited to play for the Baabaas a few time but I've either been unavailable through club commitments or injury. Once this opportunity came up and because it was against Samoa I think that helped me get the release from my club - they could see it'd be one I'd particularly want to play in - so I'm very grateful for that".

Former Manu Samoa fullback Paul Williams will face his former teammates, after being named in the Barbarians team.

Former Manu Samoa fullback Paul Williams will face his former teammates, after being named in the Barbarians team. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Paul Williams and the Barbarians will face an effectively full-strength Samoan line-up at London's Olympic Stadium.

Captain Ofisa Treviranus lines up at number eight for the Manu, with the likes of Tusi Pisi, Rey Lee Lo and Tim Nanai-Williams all named to start, having missed the Pacific Nations Cup.

Samoa squad:

1 Sakaria Taulafo

2 Ole Avei

3 Anthony Perenise

4 Teofilo Paulo

5 Kane Thompson

6 Maurie Faasavalu

7 Jack Lam

8 Ofisa Treviranus (captain)

9 Kahn Fotualii

10 Tusi Pisi

11 Ken Pisi

12 Rey Lee Lo

13 Paul Perez

14 Faatoina Autagavaia

15 Tim Nanai-Williams


16 Maatulimanu Leiataua

17 Viliamu Afatia

18 Jake Grey

19 Faifili Levave

20 Vavae Tuilagi

21 Vavao Afemai

22 Patrick Faapale

23 Johnny Leota