Toa Samoa Head Coach Matthew Parish says the hype has been building for the Toa Samoa squad to play in the Rugby League World Cup (RLWC) this year as trials continue with a squad of about 40 players in his pool to pick from.
All eyes though have been on the Broncos number 6, Anthony Milford whether he would be able to strap on the blue jersey come RLWC.
“It is unfortunate that some Toa Samoa favorites will be unavailable due to injury including Anthony Milford, Sam Kasiano, Iosia Soliola and Kasa Pritchard,” he said.
Another Toa Samoa hopeful has been the inclusion of Tyrone May from the Penrith Panthers, but has been revealed by Parish that he also is suffering from injuries and has made himself unavailable.
Toa Samoa will field in less than a month to play against the Kiwis in Auckland for the start of their Rugby League World Cup campaign this year.
Parish though says he is excited with the Cowboys scoring guru Antonio Winterstein back in trial after a two year drought from Toa. The Cowboys recently lost in the N.R.L Grand Final to the Storms.
Other names revealed by Parish include big forwards like Frank Pritchard and Suaia Matagi. Meanwhile another exciting forward had been left absent in the conversation with Mose Masoe yet to make an appearance.
When asked which of the three pool games is the most important for Toa Samoa, Parish wasn’t picky.
“All three pool games are important throughout. These are very tough games and it shows how even and incredibly competitive the World Cup will be,” he added.
Parish though has nothing but high praise for Rugby League Samoa’s president, Tagaloa Faafouina Su’a.
“Samoa is very lucky to have Tagaloa as president. He is a great leader who works extremely hard and he provides the wisdom and advice that our side is built on,” he said.
The team will be in Samoa for a week starting October 15 to train and meet with fans before taking off for their RLWC campaign.
*Joshua Lafoai is a Multimedia Lecturer/Sports Reporting lecturer at the National University of Samoa.