Preparations begin in early July at home in Apia, with a two-week team camp. This is followed by the first test against Japan in Hokkaido, Japan on July 22nd. The team returns home for back-to-back matches against their traditional Pacific rivals, Fiji and Tonga on July 29th and August 5th respectively. This will be the first time Manu Samoa plays at Apia Park since 2019, before the pandemic.
“We are pleased to announce the upcoming fixtures for Manu Samoa and most importantly bringing test matches back home to Samoa.” said Lakapi Samoa CEO, Faleomavaega Vincent Fepuleai. “Our people will be happy to welcome and support our team again after trying times over the last three years due to covid-19.”
Upon the official naming of the RWC squad, the team will travel to France for a pre-RWC match against Ireland, on August 26th in Bayonne, France.
Faleomavaega adds “To secure a match against the number one team in the world is a great help for the Manu Samoa’s preparations as opportunities to play tier 1 countries have been few and far between.”
Manu Samoa Head Coach, Vaovasamanaia Seilala Mapusua is looking forward to the journey ahead. “I am happy with our plans and preparations towards the Rugby World Cup, with a schedule of matches that will test us on all fronts especially physically and mentally” said Vaovasamanaia. “Our pre-RWC opponents will reflect styles and team profiles similar to the teams that will be in our RWC pool. Playing them will be as much about their preparations as it is about ours.”
The RWC squad will be announced on the first week of August with the official arrival date into their RWC team base in Montpellier, on September 4th. Manu Samoa will play in Pool D against Chile, Argentina, Japan and England.
Manu Samoa 2023 pre-RWC Schedule
vs Japan, Saturday July 22, Hokkaido, Japan
vs Fiji, Saturday July 29, Apia, Samoa
vs Tonga, Saturday August 5, Apia, Samoa
vs Ireland, Saturday August 26, Bayonne, France