Samoa suffer blow ahead of World Cup semi-final

Danny Levi Samoa

Tonga's Siosiua Taukeiaho, centre, is tackled Samoa's Danny Levi, right, and teammates during the Rugby League World Cup quarter-final match between Tonga and Samoa. Jon Super/AP/Press Association Images

Samoa will be without hooker Danny Levi for their semi-final fixture against England in the World Cup this Saturday at the Emirates Stadium.

West Tigers’ Fa’amanu Brown has been called into Samoa’s team by head coach Matt Parish in replacement. 

The 27-year-old Wests Tigers hooker made 25 appearances in the Championship for Featherstone in 2021. He takes the place of ex-Huddersfield hooker Danny Levi, who had started all of Samoa’s four matches in the tournament so far.

Levi in October was released from the last year of his contract with Huddersfield on compassionate grounds. It is now thought he is heading back home to Australia.

Coach Parish has promoted Brown, who was 18th man for Samoa’s 20-18 quarter-final win over Tonga. He has also recalled Penrith prop Spencer Leniu, who was a late withdrawal last Sunday.

Captain Junior Paulo was cleared to play after Samoa successfully challenged a one-match penalty notice. He was originally suspended by the tournament’s match-review panel for use of the elbow in the game at Warrington.

The squad includes Salford outside-backs Tim Lafai and Ken Sio, who were late additions to the squad following a spate of injuries sustained in Samoa’s opening 60-6 defeat by England.

Samoa 19-man squad

Samoa 19-man squad: F Brown (Wests Tigers), S Crichton (Penrith), C Harris-Tavita (NZ Warriors), R Hunt (Cronulla), O Kaufusi (Parramatta), T Lafai (Salford), S Leniu (Penrith), J Luai (Penrith), T May (Penrith), A Milford (Brisbane), J Papali’i (Canberra), J Paulo (Parramatta, captain), L Sao (Hull), K Sio (Salford), J Su’a (St George Illawarra), J Suaali’i (Sydney Roosters), M Taupa’u (Manly), B To’o (Penrith), K Tuilagi (Wests Tigers).

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