Nickname: Manu Samoa
Honors: Pacific Rim Champions 2000, qualifying for the 1999 Rugby World Cup and the 2003 Rugby World Cup
Anthem: The Banner of Freedom
Traditions: Siva Tau
World Rugby Shop - buy Samoa rugby gear
The national rugby union team of Samoa is called Manu Samoa (the name of a famous Samoan chief some 10 generations ago). They perform a traditional Samoan dance called the siva tau before each game. They are members of the Pacific Islands Rugby Alliance (PIRA) along with Fiji and Tonga. They have recently been bankrolled by millionaire Sir Michael Fay, one of New Zealand's wealthiest men.
Rugby was introduced to Samoa in the early 1920s and a governing body was soon formed. The first international was played as Western Samoa against Fiji in August of 1924. Along with Tonga, these nations would meet regularly and eventually contest competitions such as the Pacific Tri-Nations - with Western Samoa winning the first of these. Samoa have been to every Rugby World Cup since the 1991 tournament. That tournament, along with the 1995 competition saw them make the quarter-finals.
In 1954 Western Samoan visited both Pacific Island neighbours Fiji and Tonga but waited a further 20 years before a tour of New Zealand took place. The Samoans won one of eight matches on that tour.
The traditional tri-series between Tonga, Fiji and Western Samoa was established in 1982 with Western Samoa winning the first tournament. Wales visited Western Samoa and won the test 32-16 at Apia. The tour led to a return visit to Wales which brought Western Samoa out of International limbo, although Western Samoa were not invited to the first Rugby World Cup in 1987.
The following year a 14-match tour of Europe took place before a World Cup elimination series in Tokyo, which gave Western Samoa a place in the 1991 Rugby World Cup in Britain. They made a huge impact. After sweeping aside Wales 16-13 in Cardiff and defeating Argentina 35-12, and narrowly losing 3-9 to eventual champions Australia in their pool match, Western Samoa, a country with a population of 160,000, found itself in the quarterfinals against Scotland at Murrayfield. The Scots, however won comfortably, 28-6, but the Samoans were clearly the personality team of the tournament.
Over the next two years the side had a number of notable wins. The most outstanding achievement were in Sevens where it won the 1993 Hong Kong and 1992 Middlesex Sevens. The 1995 Rugby World Cup in South Africa proved that the team belonged in top company. They again reached the quarterfinals after wins over Argentina and Italy, but were beaten 42-14 by the eventual winners South Africa. After the Cup, Manu Samoa made a 13-match tour of England and Scotland, drawing 15-15 with the Scots and going down 9-27 to England.
With the advent of professional rugby in 1995 it was vital for Manu Samoa to developed a new administrative structure. This was made possible with Fay Richwhite and the Western Samoan Rugby Union joining forces to form Manu Samoa Rugby Limited, which now manages business for the team. Samoa emerged from the 1999 Rugby World Cup with honour intact after another shock 38-31 victory over host nation Wales in the pool stages. They again lost out to Scotland in the quarter final play-off.
Manu Samoa War Chant
Le Manu Samoa ia manu le fai o le faiva
Le Manu Samoa lenei ua ou sau
Leai se isi Manu oi le atu laulau
Ua ou sai nei ma le mea atoa
O lou malosi ua atoatoa
La e faatafa ma e soso ese
Le Manu Samoa
Le Manu Samoa
Le Manu Samoa e o mai I Samoa
The Manu Samoa, may you succeed in your mission
The Manu Samoa, here I come
There is no other Manu (team) anywhere
Here I come completely prepared
My strength is at its peak
Make way and move aside
Because this Manu is unique
The Manu Samoa
The Manu Samoa
The Manu Samoa reigns from Samoa
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