Samoa 'should grab chance'

Skipper says England match an opportunity to cause an upset

Last Updated: 18/11/10 6:55pm

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Schwalger: chance for Samoa

Schwalger: chance for Samoa

Sky Bet

Samoa captain Mahonri Schwalger thinks they have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to beat England.when the two sides face each other at Twickenham on Saturday.

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The former Sale hooker played against England in both the 2003 and 2007 Rugby World Cups - Samoa giving the eventual winners a fright in the pool stages in Australia.

Samoan rugby is arguably stronger now than at any point since then, with the national sevens team world series champions and the national XV beating Fiji 31-9 in June to win the Pacific Nations Cup.

"The English are one of the teams you measure yourself against," said Schwalger.

"I have been saying that to the boys - this opportunity will never come twice. Grab it with two hands and make sure you win.

"We did feel the same with Ireland last week. We felt like we could have won the game and there is now a sense of frustration."

The team, which lost 20-10 to Ireland last weekend, features seven Aviva Premiership-based players, including the Leicester wing Alesana Tuilagi and the London Irish pair Seilala Mapasua and George Stowers.

One change on the bench is the return of Toulouse prop Census Johnston, who missed the game in Dublin following the death of his sister.


Schwalger has played against England three times before without success, although Samoa did take the lead with 18 minutes remaining at the 2003 World Cup before running out of steam.

Tuilagi and Lewis Moody were sent off for brawling when they met in 2005 - England running out 40-3 winners then - while in Nantes three years ago, England saved themselves from World Cup elimination with a 44-22 victory.

Schwalger is convinced that if his men keep their discipline then this time could be different.

"In 2003 it was a great game and late in the game we were still leading," he said.

"It is about discipline. In all the years we have played against England we can compete all the way up and that is the only thing that lets us down.

"It is all about attitude and getting that mindset right. It is a great challenge this week and we are looking forward to it.

"This tour is really important for our World Cup preparation."

Samoa: P Williams; D Lemi, G Pisi, S Mapasua, A Tuilagi; T Lavea, K Fotualii; S Taulafo, M Schwalger (capt), A Perenise, K Thompson, F Levi, O Treviranus, M Salavea, G Stowers.
Replacements: T Paulo, C Johnston, J Tekori, A Aiono, J Poluleuligaga, G Williams, F Otto.

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