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Dublin: 7 °C Friday 18 January, 2019

The All Blacks got a rousing welcome ahead of an historic game in Samoa

The Samoans have named their XV for an historic Test match in Apia on Wednesday.

IT’S AN HISTORIC week for international rugby, as New Zealand get set to play their first-ever Test match in the Pacific Islands when they face Samoa on Wednesday (KO 03.00 Irish time).

Steve Hansen and his squad arrived in Apia today to a frenzied and rousing welcome from hundreds of rugby fans, the excitement levels in the Samoan capital city already at fever pitch.

The Kiwis wore the traditional Samoan lei (neck garland) and elei (Island-printed shirt) to show their respect for the host nation, while they were met with a unique war dance that combined the Haka and Samoa’s Siva Tau.

Earlier today, Samoa named their starting team and replacements for Wednesday’s highly-anticipated Test match, with the Chiefs’ Tim Nanai-Williams set for his debut at fullback.

Nanai-Williams – whose cousin and clubmate Sonny Bill Williams starts for the All Blacks – has become eligible by playing international sevens with Samoa in recent months, and now forms an exciting back three with Alofa Alofa and 34-year-old Alesana Tuilagi.

Ofisa Treviranus captains the team from number eight, while Bristol openside Jack Lam and Bordeaux hooker Ole Avei all feature in a strong-looking pack. Toulouse’s Census Johnston has come out of international retirement to start the game in the number three shirt.

With a passionate performance expected from the Samoans on home soil, Wednesday’s groundbreaking encounter in the humid heat of Apia is likely to be enthralling.

Samoa (v New Zealand)

15. Tim Nanai-Williams
14. Alofa Alofa
13. Paul Perez
12. Johnny Leota
11. Alesana Tuilagi
10. Tusi Pisi
9. Kahn Fotuali’i

1. Sakaria Taulafo
2. Ole Avei
3. Census Johnston
4. Filo Paulo
5. Kane Thompson
6. Alafoti Faosiliva
7. Jack Lam
8. Ofisa Treviranus (captain)


16. Ma’atulimanu Leiataua
17. Viliamu Afatia
18. Anthony Perenise
19. Joe Tekori
20. Maurie Faasavalu
21. Pele Cowley
22. Faialaga Afamasaga
23. Ken Pisi

Andy Ellis to partner Dan Carter when All Blacks begin World Cup season in Samoa

The All Blacks got a rousing welcome ahead of an historic game in Samoa

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About the author:

Murray Kinsella

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