Matt Parish Names 11 New Players in Toa Samoa Squad to Take on Cook Islands


Source:  Toa Samoa Coach Matt Parish has picked an exciting 20-man squad with 11 debutants to take on the Cook Islands on the 25th of June.

Parish has named a mix of young talent and experienced NRL stars in Toa Samoa’s first squad in two years.

The Toa Samoa squad for the Pacific Test against Cook Islands Image: NRL Graphics

Parish has not named any of the eligibile players involved in the State of Origin opener last week. According to Parish, he did not want to exert any unnecessary pressure on the Samoan players selected as they prepared for the second Origin test.

“We are proud of all players with Samoan heritage who are playing in all teams in the upcoming Representative Round,” said Parish.

“Out of respect to the players involved in State of Origin, we did not consider any player chosen in the NSW or Queensland squads for Game I.

“However, if they were to become available for the Pacific Test we would consider late changes to include them.”

Penrith Panthers stars and NRL 2021 Premiership winners Izack Tago, Taylan May, Charlie Staines and Spencer Leniu are among the debutants set to represent Samoa for the first time.

Toa Samoa Board had last month announced that Panthers assistant coach Andrew Webster would join the Toa Samoa staff alongside former Leeds mentor Richard Agar and former Toa captain Frank Pritchard.

Manly Sea Eagles young guns Josh Schuster and Toafoafoa Sipley as well as St George Illawarra’s Francis Molo and Matt Feagai are among players also set to make their debut with the Toa Samoa.

Warriors playmaker Ronald Volkman, South Sydney’s Jaxson Paulo and Brisbane Broncos’ forward Keenan Palasia are three more new faces in the Toa Samoa squad.

The 11 debutants will be joined by a line-up of experienced players.

Back in the Toa Samoa are Auckland Warriors’ Chanel Harris-Tevita, New Castle Knights’ Anthony Milford and West Tigers’ winger David Nofoaluma.

Powerhouse forwards such as Martin Taupau, Josh Aloiai, Jaydn Su’a, Jazz Tevaga, Bunty Afoa and Luciano Leilua make up a squad.

2019 was the last time Toa Samoa played an international test due to the covid outbreak.

Parish said it’s exciting for Samoa to be back again in the Pacific Test.

The Game will be played on the 25th of June in Campletown Sports Stadium Home of NRL team West Tigers in Western Sydney.

Samoa also announced a new sponsorship with PacifiCast ahead of the Pacific Test.

“We are extremely honoured and proud to partner with Rugby League Samoa,” PacifiCast director  Julius Tuigamala said.

“We look forward to contributing commercial support and strategic guidance. PacifiCast connects the global Pasifika community through sport, music, arts and cultural events. PacifiCast opens a new lens to the Pacific.”

Toa Samoa

  • Anthony Milford (Newcastle Knights)
  • Bunty Afoa (Warriors)
  • Chanel Harris-Tavita (Warriors)
  • Charlie Staines (Penrith Panthers)
  • David Nofoaluma (Wests Tigers)
  • Francis Molo (St. George-Illawarra Dragons)
  • Izack Tago (Penrith Panthers)
  • Jaxson Paulo (South Sydney Rabbitohs)
  • Jaydn Su’a (St. George-Illawarra Dragons)
  • Jazz Tevaga (Warriors)
  • Josh Aloiai (Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles)
  • Josh Schuster (Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles)
  • Keenan Palasia (Brisbane Broncos)
  • Luciano Leilua (North Queensland Cowboys)
  • Martin Taupau (Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles)
  • Mathew Feagai (St. George-Illawarra Dragons)
  • Ronald Volkman (Warriors)
  • Spencer Leniu (Penrith Panthers)
  • Taylan May (Penrith Panthers)
  • Toafofoa Sipley (Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles

The Game will be played on the 25th of June in Campletown Sports Stadium Home of NRL team West Tigers in Western Sydney.

Daniel M Limā