Former Crosshaven prop named in Samoa's final World Cup squad

Jake Grey is part of Stephen Betham’s 31-man group to take on South Africa, Scotland, Japan and the US.

FORMER CROSSHAVEN RFC prop Jake Grey has been included in Samoa’s final 31-man squad for the Rugby World Cup.

Rugby 2j Grey in action during his year with Crosshaven. Source: The Carrigdhoun

The Samoans are part of Pool B in the tournament alongside South Africa, Scotland Japan and the US, with London Irish back row Ofisa Treviranus captaining Stephen Betham’s squad.

While the official deadline for squads to be named is 31 August, Betham has made an early move, bringing good news for one man with strong Irish connections.

31-year-old Grey originally arrived in Ireland in 2006 having played international rugby with Samoa’s U20 side, linking up with junior rugby club Crosshaven after being convinced to bring his talents to these shores.

Grey instantly established himself as a hugely popular member of the Cork side, impressing with his scrummaging ability and ball-carrying power, helping them to a Munster Junior Division 1 title in 2007.

The prop’s greatest moment with Crosshaven came in their thrilling All-Ireland Junior Cup success in 2011 with a team that also included lock Darren O’Shea, now in the Premiership with Worcester Warriors. Grey’s legendary status at the club was confirmed.

HC Xhaven Bruff 6 Grey is a formidable ball carrier. Source: TheCarrighoun

Grey eventually returned home in 2012 with the hope of featuring for his senior national team, working his way up through the ranks with the Samoa A team before making his Test debut against Japan in Tokyo in May of last year.

Grey has added a further three caps this summer in the Pacific Nations Cup, appearing off the bench against Canada and in both games versus Fiji. His form in those showings has now convinced Betham that the Crosshaven legend is worthy of a World Cup place.

There is certain to be strong support for Samoa from the Cork town as a result, with Grey remaining loved by all involved in the rugby club.

Jake left a huge impact on those involved with Crosshaven RFC and indeed the wider community during his time in Crosshaven,” said Crosshaven chairman Jack White.

“His prowess on the pitch earned him massive respect, but his friendly nature and willingness to always have a chat will ensure we’re all left with fond memories of the Samoa man. We at Crosshaven RFC wish Jake all the best at the World Cup and we will be cheering him on.”

562917_434914613225766_1996874246_n Grey had a successful time with Crosshaven. Source: Inpho

Grey is part of a dangerous-looking squad that also includes Alesana Tuiliagi, Rey Lee Lo, Leicester prop Logovi’i Mulipola, Northampton scrum-half Kahn Fotuali’i, Pisi brothers Ken and George, as well as hard-hitting Hurricanes hooker Motu Matu’u.

Out-half Mike Stanley, who signed for Ulster on a short-term deal last season, is also part of the squad.

South Africa are heavily tipped to emerge as Pool B winners, but Betham and his men will have different ideas.

31-man Samoa World Cup squad:

Viliamu Afatia, Jake Grey, Logovii Mulipola, Anthony Perenise, Sakaria Taulafo, Ole Avei, Manu Leiataua, Motu Matu’u, Faatiga Lemalu, Filo Paulo, Kane Thompson, Joe Tekori, Maurie Faasavalu, Alafoti Faosiliva, TJ Ioane, Jack Lam, Vavae Tuilagi, Ofisa Treviranus (captain), Vavao Afemai, Kahn Fotuali’i, Patrick Faapale, Tusiata Pisi, Mike Stanley, Rey Lee Lo, Johnny Leota, George Pisi, Paul Perez, Faatoina Autagavaia, Ken Pisi, Tim Nanai Williams, Alesana Tuilagi.

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Murray Kinsella

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