Rugby World Cup 2015: Samoa make nine changes for opener

Kahn Fotuali'i
Auckland-born Kahn Fotuali'i plays his domestic rugby at Northampton Saints
Rugby World Cup
Hosts: England Dates: 18 September-31 October
Coverage: Live on BBC Radio 5 live and sports extra, BBC local radio, plus live text commentary on every match on the BBC Sport website.
Further coverage: BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru, BBC Radio Scotland, BBC Radio Ulster and BBC Local Radio.

Samoa have made nine changes to the side that won the Pacific Nations Cup for their World Cup Pool B opener against the USA in Brighton on Sunday.

Only two backs - scrum-half Kahn Fotuali'i and winger Alesana Tuilagi - survive from the team that beat Fiji.

Samoa beat USA 21-16 when they met at the Pacific Nations Cup in July.

USA are captained by Saracens' Chris Wyles, with Samu Manoa - who has joined Toulon after four years at Northampton Saints - in the back row.

He will face an experienced Samoa back row, with captain Ofisa Treviranus alongside Maurie Fa'asavalu and Jack Lam. Lock Kane Thompson is suspended, with Joe Tekori selected in his place.

Match stats

  • These sides met in the pool stages of the 2007 tournament, with Samoa winning 25-21.
  • Samoa have featured in every World Cup since 1991 and have won their tournament opener on five of six occasions.
  • Since winning their opening match of the 1987 tournament, USA have lost 18 of 20 Rugby World Cup fixtures.
  • Samoa have won all four of their Tests against the Eagles, all settled by a margin of seven points or fewer.

Teams

Samoa: Tim Nanai-Williams; Ken Pisi, Paul Perez, Rey Lee-Lo, Alesana Tuilagi; Tusi Pisi, Kahn Fotuali'i; Sakaria Taulafo, Ole Avei, Anthony Perenise, Teofilo Paulo, Iosefa Tekori, Maurie Fa'asavalu, Jack Lam, Ofisa Treviranus (captain).

Replacements: Viliamu Afatia, Motu Matu'u, Census Johnston, Faifili Levave, Alafoti Faosiliva, Vavao Afemai, Mike Stanley, Fa'atoina Autagavaia.

USA: Blaine Scully; Takudzwa Ngwenya, Seamus Kelly, Thretton Palamo, Chris Wyles (captain); AJ MacGinty, Mike Petri; Eric Fry, Zach Fenoglio Titi Lamositele; Hayden Smith, Greg Peterson; Al McFarland, Andrew Durutalo, Samu Manoa.

Replacements: Phil Thiel, Oli Kilifi, Chris Baumann, Cam Dolan, Danny Barrett, Shalom Suniula, Folau Niua, Brett Thompson.

Top Stories