Samoa take no chances against Eagles

Date published: September 18 2015

Samoa have named a full-strength team for their World Cup opener against the USA in Brighton on Sunday.

With Pool B being relatively evenly-matched between the quarter-final contenders, Samoa know that they will need to down the Eagles comfortably to put the pressure on Scotland, and Stephen Betham has picked his team accordingly.

Ofisa Treviranus leads the team in an experienced back row that also features Maurie Fa'asavalu and Jack Lam. Kane Thompson is suspended in the second row, but Joe Tekori might be an upgrade, replacing him, while up front Zak Taulafo, Ole Avei and Anthony Perenise have plenty of top flight experience in Europe.

In the backs there are few surprises, with Tusi Pisi starting at fly-half as expected, while Tim Nanai-Williams gets the nod at full-back.

Ken Pisi and Alesana Tuilagi provide very different threats on their respective wings, and on the bench the USA will have to watch out for Census Johnston, who came out of retirement to join the squad following Logovi'i Mulipola's injury.

Samoa: 15 Tim Nanai-Williams, 14 Ken Pisi, 13 Paul Perez, 12 Rey Lee-Lo, 11 Alesana Tuilagi, 10 Tusi Pisi, 9 Kahn Fotuali'i, 8 Ofisa Treviranus (c), 7 Jack Lam, 6 Maurie Fa'asavalu, 5 Joe Tekori, 4 Teofilo Paulo, 3 Anthony Perenise, 2 Ole Avei, 1 Zak Taulafo
Replacements: 16 Viliami Afatia, 17 Motu Matu'u, 18 Census Johnston, 19 Faifili Levave, 20 Alafoti Faosiliva, 21 Vavao Afemai, 22 Mike Stanley, 23 Fa'atoina Autagavaia

Date: Sunday, September 20
Venue: Brighton Community Stadium, Brighton
Kick-off: 12:00 local 
Referee: George Clancy (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Jaco Peyper (South Africa), Federico Anselmi (Argentina)
Television match official: Graham Hughes (England)