2 Oct 2015

Six changes for Samoa's 'do or die' clash

11:35 am on 2 October 2015

Manu Samoa have made six changes to their starting XV for Sunday morning's crunch Rugby World Cup clash against Japan in Milton Keynes.

Manu Samoa coach Stephen Betham.

Manu Samoa coach Stephen Betham. Photo: AFP

Veteran lock Kane Thompson and midfield back Johnny Leota get their first run of the tournament, in place of Joe Tekori and Rey Lee-Lo.

Tusi Pisi returns at first-five for Mike Stanley, while Ole Avei swaps with last week's starting hooker Motu Matu'u.

Faifili Levave gets his first World Cup start at number eight, moving captain Ofisa Treviranus to the blindside flank, TJ Ioane to the openside and Jack Lam to the bench.

Head coach Stephen Betham said the selectors had a difficult task in choosing the final team.

"After reviewing our loss to South Africa, we were able to find some really positive aspects to our game - it can be easy to overlook these in the face of a very clinical Springboks side. We've also identified the areas where we needed a boost.

"We've selected the team that we believe has the best combination of skills, strength and experience to deliver us the results we are looking for against Japan. We have 10 players with between 20 and 51 Test caps so we also know we will have some very experienced men out there," he said.

"This match is do or die for us. We do not for one moment assume anything. Japan threw this pool wide open and they have clearly become one of the favourites of the tournament. We're in no doubt that this Test match will be a massive challenge for us."

Scotland have a maximum 10 points in Pool B after bonus point wins against USA and Japan.

South Africa bounced back from their shock-loss to Japan by thrashing the Manu 46-6 and have seven points, three clear of both Samoa and Japan.


  • Sakaria Taulafo
  • Ole Avei
  • Census Johnston
  • Teofilo Paulo
  • Kane Thompson
  • Ofisa Treviranus (c)
  • TJ Ioane
  • Faifili Levave
  • Kahn Fotuali'i
  • Tusi Pisi
  • Alesana Tuilagi
  • Johnny Leota
  • Paul Perez
  • Ken Pisi
  • Tim Nanai-Williams


  • Motu Matu'u
  • Viliamu Afatia
  • Anthony Perenise
  • Jack Lam
  • Vavae Tuilagi
  • Vavao Afemai
  • Mike Stanley
  • Rey Lee-Lo