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.
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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,external-link 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.


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.