Final Tests Before Rugby World Cup 2023


Manu Samoa walked away from last weekend’s clash with a 28-14 win over the Barbarians. In their penultimate match before they take on the Rugby World Cup 2023, Samoa came up against a number of familiar foes in France last Saturday. This Sunday 27th August, Samoa will face off against World number one Ireland.

Appearing for the Barbarians were fellow Samoans Aki Seiuli, Jeff Toomaga-Allen, Jack Lam and Tim Nanai-Williams. Other notable names featuring in this world-renowned team include 22-test Springbok Herschel Jantjies, 31-test Frenchman Virimi Vakatawa and dual-code international Curtis Rona. 

The man at the helm of this freshly formed Barbarians outfit was none other than former Captain and Coach of Manu Samoa, Pat Lam.

Manu Samoa put on a dominant performance, making the most of their opportunities and utilising their physical edge to get over the Barbarians. Leading the way with a match high 15 carries was number eight So’otala Fa’aso’o, who also finished with the matches second most made tackles. Samoa’s strength with ball in hand produced a total of 351 post contact metres, and has been a strength of their play this year.

Leading from the third minute to the 80th, the Manu crossed the line four times through Frtitz Lee, Tumua Manu, Ereatara Enari and Lima Sopoaga. Leading 28-0 for the opening hour, Head Coach Seilala Mapusua will drill into his team the necessity of an 80 minute performance, with the Barbarians scoring twice in the 20 minute period.

This match was a great building block for the Manu, and was a brilliant opportunity to see the men in blue being led by Lima Sopoaga. Still one of the premiere flyhalfs in the game today, the combination of Sopoaga and Christian Lealiifano is invaluable to Samoa. In a team known for their strength and power, these two game drivers may just be the missing piece to unlock the full potential of the Manu come September.

In what is arguably no greater of a preparation match than the one ahead of them this weekend, Samoa face off against an in form Ireland outfit. Ireland’s last recorded loss came in February 2022 against France. Now currently on a 13 game win streak, Ireland are heading into the Rugby World Cup 2023 as strong contenders. With a versatile and experienced squad, Ireland’s pace has been insuperable, meaning everyone member of the Manu will need to be on their A game to impose their physicality and slow down the green machine. 

Watch Manu Samoa v Ireland this Sunday 27th August at 6:45am.


The Flying Fijians had the monumental challenge of taking on the Rugby World Cup hosts France in their own back yard last Sunday. In a valiant effort against the Frenchmen, the Fijians went down 34-17. 

Fiji’s discipline allowed France to constantly extend their lead throughout the game. Despite the Fijian forward pack being up for the physical battle as they’ve become known to be, France’s turnovers at the breakdown shutdown almost every promising Fiji attack. 

Both teams ended the game with two tries, however the five penalties to France pushed the game out to a comfortable victory for the home nation. An incredible learning experience for Fiji before the Rugby World Cup 2023, this loss comes at the perfect time for the Fijians to assess their game and make the adequate adjustments for September.

This Sunday, the Flying Fijians are looking to return to the win column against number six ranked England. Also coming off a loss last week, England fell 29-10  to Ireland and will be just as fired up as the Fijians in their final game before the Rugby World Cup 2023. 

This match up will be a battle of possession and territory. England will always look to play deep in the Fijian half, and so Fiji will need to make the adequate adjustments from last week to ensure they can exit their half and secure the ball at the breakdown. If Fiji can recycle the ball and continue their domination through their physical forwards, this final warm up international will be a guaranteed spectacle. 

Watch Fiji v England this Sunday 27th August at 2:15am.


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