7 Oct 2017

Sports: Changes to Toa Samoa line-up

11:55 am on 7 October 2017

There's been a last minute change to the Toa Samoa line-up for the Rugby League World Cup.

Tim Lafai and Frank Winterstein have been called into the squad after two unexpected changes were forced on coach Matt Parish, with Sione Mata'utia and Tautau Moga withdrawing due to injury.

After announcing their 24-man squad in Samoa on Friday morning, officials were given the belated news that Newcastle Knights skipper Mata'utia and Knights-bound Brisbane centre Moga have been ruled unfit.

Mata'utia had been told he would be fine to play in the tournament but the Samoans were advised by the Knights after further tests that he should not play following a concussion in the last NRL match of the season.

Moga has been directed to have off-season shoulder surgery.

Their replacements are two in-form NRL players from this season in Lafai, the St George Illawarra Dragons' three-quarter, and Manly back-rower Winterstein - neither of whom missed a club match in 2017.

"While it is disappointing, especially at this late stage when we were led to believe both players were fit, I am really delighted that we have such depth to bring in Frank and Tim who were both disappointed not to make the initial squad," said Parish.

Frank Pritchard was earlier named as captain in a squad which includes Canberra Raiders powerhouse Josh Papalii, who is playing for Samoa for the first time at the World Cup.

Toa Samoa rugby league coach Matt Parish

Toa Samoa rugby league coach Matt Parish Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The updated Samoan squad is:


1 Frank Pritchard (captain) Parramatta Eels

2 Bunty Afoa NZ Warriors

3 Leeson Ah Mau St George Illawarra Dragons

4 Fa'amanu Brown Cronulla Sharks

5 Herman Ese'ese Brisbane Broncos

6 Pita Godinet Manly Sea Eagles

7 Tim Lafai St George Illawarra

8 Joey Leilua Canberra Raiders

9 Ricky Leutele Cronulla Sharks

10 Sam Lisone NZ Warriors

11 Jarome Luai ** Penrith Panthers

12 Suaia Matagi Parramatta Eels

13 Peter Mata'utia Newcastle Knights

14 Ken Maumalo NZ Warriors

15 Zane Musgrave ** South Sydney Rabbitohs

16 Josh Papalii ** Canberra Raiders

17 Joseph Paulo Cronulla Sharks

18 Junior Paulo Canberra Raiders

19 Ben Roberts Castleford - UK

20 Sam Tagataese Cronulla Sharks

21 Jazz Tevaga ** NZ Warriors

22 Young Tonumaipea Melbourne Storm

23 Frank Winterstein Manly Sea Eagles

24 Matthew Wright Manly Sea Eagles