The Samoan team come now into the World Cup with a happier team following the historical decision at the start of September 2015, to put into place a relationship agreement that will greatly improve players rights.  Long overdue and will hopefully be the catalyst to improve the situation of all of the Pacific island teams.  Samoa given the size of their players, always play with verve and hard tackling but also with the speed & ability to break away and surprise.

Captain: Ofisa Treviranus

Player to Watch: Jack Lam, currently playing at Bristol is cousin to the much respected ex Samoan captain, Pat Lam and plays with similar panache!

Dates of Pool Matches:

Sunday 20th September vs USA – Kick off 12.00 – Brighton

Saturday 26th September vs South Africa – Kick off 16.45 – Villa Park, Birmingham

Saturday 3rd October vs Japan – Kick off 14.30 – Stadium mk, Milton Keyes

Saturday 10th October vs Scotland – Kick off 14.30 – St James Park, Newcastle

For more information about Samoa Rugby: http://www.manusamoa.com

For full details follow: http://www.rugbyworldcup.com

 What to eat and drink whilst watching Samoa 

Food:

In Samoa, it’s all about the plentiful amount of great fresh ingredients. Obviously lots of fish (snapper, tuna, and octopus) from the beautiful South Pacific waters – but also lots of coconuts and bananas. For easy match day food try cooking banana cake (which would pair well with a malty beer) or coconut bread. Paifala, a sweet  pastry sweet stuffed with fruit & custard is possibly not the best match for match day beers –  but try looking out of a recipe for Kale – a Samoan curry (from lamb , chicken or other meat). Not as spicy as other curries, it would be a good easy going on the palate option to pair with a beer!

Beer:

The main beer of Samoa is Vailima and seems to be present at every rugby match going in Samoa. Sadly not as easy to find in the UK – but there is a new beer called Taula – try some of the independent beer specialist listed on the relevant page. For those of you attending the match against South Africa – do check out this local pub which has great craft beer of the month as well as showing the match!  http://www.astontavern.co.uk

Wine:

Right this is where things become a little tenuous! As Samoa, nor Fiji or Tonga are suitable for wine making (well from local proper vines anyway!), this section proves a bit of a challenge.  So I have taken the letters of each country to find a wine somewhere in the world that spells out their name and at the same time, hope you discover some more unusual wines.

S is for Syrah – more precisely Chilean Syrah from the fabulous Montes Estate.   It is dry-farmed in the beautiful Apalta valley and has seductive notes of leather and deep black fruits. Their Alpha range is under -priced for the quality of this wine.  Listed at £11.95 from http://www.hailshamcellars.com But if you feel like celebrating when Samoa win, then treat yourself to their Icon wine , Folly Syrah (£33 approx from http://www.slurp.co.uk) – sheer heaven.

A is for Alsatian wines – a beautiful region of France with Germanic names, whose wines are sadly too often misunderstood and dismissed as sweet,  when often  they  are not but  can be fabulously aromatic.  Try a Gewurtraminer from leading producer Hugel for glorious rose petal & lychees nose.  This delightful  world class wine will convert you! £15.95 http://www.pauladamsfinewines.co.uk

M is for Mouvedre, which often pops up as a variety in Rhone blends. So where else better to find one than with Independent Rhone Specialists – http://www.yapp.co.uk  At £10.75 their Domaine Saint Gayan  has lots of delicious spicy fruit.

O is for Oseleta – a little known red grape variety that grows in the Valpolicella hills.  Look out for Osar, made by Masi –  but at almost £50 a bottle  from http://www.oakhamwinesonline.co.uk might be a little too much for match day – so try another of Masi’s Vapolicellas which may have a small percentage of it in – stockists via their UK importer – http://www.berkmann.co.uk

A is for Again – Alsatian wines – If you’d like a less complex Gewurtraminer, then there is one selected by Master of Wine Richard Bampfield for the autumn Lidl selection at £7.49 – http://www.lidl.co.uk

Links to Wine Producers mentioned:

http://www.monteswines.com

http://www.hugel.com

http://www.saintgayan.com

http://masi.it