13 Oct 2022
What are the teams for England v Samoa men at the Rugby League World Cup?
All the line-up information ahead of the opening match at St James' Park
By James Toney
England's Shaun Wane and Samoa's Matt Parish have revealed their match day squads ahead of the opening fixture of the Rugby League World Cup in Newcastle this weekend.
Wane has named a 19-strong team that includes six NRL players, including highly-rated Sydney Rooster Victor Radley.
Captain Sam Tomkins will play his first World Cup since the semi-final at Wembley in 2013 with five of the team capped more than 20 times. In addition there are four players from Super League champions St Helens selected.
Samoa coach Matt Parish has an NRL stacked roster but also includes Super League pair Danny Levi and Tyrone May in his match day squad.
England: 1 Sam Tomkins (captain), 2 Tommy Makinson, 3 Kallum Watkins, 4 Herbie Farnworth, 6 Jack Welsby, 7 George Williams, 8 Tom Burgess , 9 Micky McIlorum, 10 Luke Thompson, 11 Elliott Whitehead, 13 Victor Radley, 14 Dom Young, 15 Morgan Knowles, 16 Matty Lees, 17 Mike Cooper, 18 Chris Hill, 20 Mike McMeeken, 21 Marc Sneyd, 24 Kai Pearce-Paul
Samoa: 13 Josh Aloiai, 4 Stephen Crichton, 24 Braden Hamlin-Uele, 20 Chanel Harris-Tavita, 23 Oregon Kaufusi, 16 Spencer Leniu, 9 Danny Levi, 6 Jarome Luai, 14 Tyrone May, 7 Anthony Milford, 8 Josh Papali'i, 10 Junior Paulo, 12 Jaydn Su'a, 1 Joseph Suaali'i, 18 Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow, 3 Izack Tago, 17 Martin Taupau, 5 Brian To'o, 22 Kelma Tuilagi
England have played three matches against Samoa and never lost, winning their last encounter in an international ahead of the 2017 Rugby League World Cup 30-10.
They played in the 2014 Four Nations in Brisbane, their closest encounter yet with England winning 32-26. Their first meeting was England's biggest margin of victory, a 38-14 win in Hull in November 2006.
Samoa have won two of their last three internationals and will be looking to win back-to-back games for the first time since three straight wins against Tonga from May 2015 to August 2016.
England are ranked third in the world after reaching the last Rugby League World Cup final, losing 6-0 to Australia in Brisbane.
While the pandemic curtailed international rugby league, they beat world number one-ranked New Zealand 2-1 in the three-match Baskerville Shield series in 2018 and have won their most recent internationals, beating France 30-10 in 2021 and Fiji 50-0 last week.
Samoa are currently ranked seventh in the world and haven't played since a 44-17 defeat to Fiji in Auckland in 2019. They were winless at the last Rugby League World Cup, losing 38-8 to New Zealand, 32-18 to Tonga and drawing 14-14 with Scotland. However, with eight NRL Grand Finalists in their squad for this tournament, those performances certainly need caveating.
Players to watch
- England's Tommy Makinson made 31 line breaks throughout the 2022 Super League campaign, the joint-most of any player in the competition; his 22 tries scored were also the joint-third most of any player.
- Samoa's Brian To’o ran for 73 metres post contact per game in the 2022 NRL season, the second-most of any player in the competition and the most of any outside back.
The Rugby League World Cup promises to be the biggest, best and most inclusive event in the sport’s 127-year history with men’s, women’s and wheelchair teams competing in 61 games across 21 venues throughout England. Tickets are available via rlwc2021.com/tickets