18 Feb 2016

Sport: Rebels clash a chance for Samoan players to impress

11:54 am on 18 February 2016

The Samoa A rugby coach Potu Leavasa said tonight's clash against the Melbourne Rebels is a good chance to expose their young and local players to a new environment.

The one-off clash is being used as preparation for next month's Pacific Challenge in Fiji.

Potu Leavasa is in his third year coaching the A team and said it's a different feel this time around with more players being brought in from outside of Samoa.

"It's good for our local players back from home and also for the overseas players as well - some of these overseas players have never played at this level before. It's good to expose themselves and get the experience from the Super Rugby level. It's all part of our preparation for the PRC in Fiji. Also Alama Ieremia is here with me, the head coach of the Manu Samoa - it's a good chance for Alama to identify them for the next level."

Meanwhile, with the exception of injured halfback Nic Stirzaker, the Rebels have named a full-strength squad, featuring Wallabies back-rower Sean McMahon, test hooker James Hanson and former All Black flanker Adam Thomson.

Coach Tony McGahan said they expect nothing less than a big, fast and powerful Samoan team to provide them wutg a real physical test heading into the start of the Super Rugby season.

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Photo: Photosport