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Dublin: 16 °C Sunday 22 September, 2019

From ski slopes to the World Cup: Ireland's pool opponents Samoa call in replacement scrum-half

Scott Malolua dislocated his shoulder during the Test against Australia.

Malolua of Samoa is treated for a dislocated shoulder against Australia.
Malolua of Samoa is treated for a dislocated shoulder against Australia.
Image: Speed Media

QUEENSLAND REDS SCRUM-HALF Scott Malolua had his Rugby World Cup hopes cruelly dashed today as his Samoa team-mates departed for Japan without him.

The 26-year-old had defied the odds to return from retirement this year and produce a string of performances in Super Rugby that earned him an international debut against Australia in Sydney last week.

But Malolua dislocated his shoulder during the 34-15 loss and coach Steve Jackson said he had no choice but to select Pele Cowley as a replacement.

“We’re all gutted for Scott, he was playing some good rugby,” Jackson said, revealing Malolua was facing eight weeks on the sidelines.

“But we all understand that this is the nature of our game, so we just need to push forward to Japan.”

Cowley, from the Ponsonby club in Auckland, was on a skiing holiday with his family in New Zealand’s North Island when he learned he was going to Japan.

The Pacific islanders, who made the World Cup quarter-finals in 1991 and 1995, face Russia in their first match at Kumagaya on September 24. They then face Scotland and Japan before a pool-closing clash with Ireland in Fukuoka on 12 October.

“It’s an unfortunate circumstance in which to be called up, I really feel for Scotty,” Cowley said.

“I actually know what it’s like because the same thing happened to me in 2015 when I did my AC joint in the last game of the Pacific Nations Cup against Canada, which ruled me out of the World Cup.”

Samoa captain Jack Lam took a knock to the eye against the Wallabies but departed for Japan with the team.

With the warm-up games out of the way, Murray, Bernard and Gavan discuss the renewed cause for optimism, impressive individual player form, and a potential quarter-final versus either South Africa or New Zealand.

Source: The42 Rugby Weekly/SoundCloud

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