Warrington’s new signing Thomas Mikaele would love to represent Samoa in the World Cup at the end of the year, and believes they could be dark horses.
The 24-year-old is currently enjoying his first taste to life in England after joining Super League side Warrington on a deal until the end of 2024.
Mikaele was born in New Zealand before moving to Australia when he was four. His parents are Samoan and he was proudly brought up in Samoan culture.
He says he wants to represent his family and heritage by pulling on the blue jersey of Toa Samoa at this year’s World Cup.
Mikaele said: “There is a World Cup at the end of year and with me being a proud Samoan, I would love to play for Samoa.
“I’ve got ambitions in the future to play Origin back in Australia and maybe if I get the chance to play for Australia one day.
“Just for me, Samoa is the most important one and after achieving that it would be Origin. That’s one of the things by coming to Warrington could help me achieve that.
“I wasn’t playing much this year for Wests Tigers and just coming over here, getting a fresh start and being able to play some good footy which is the goal.
“If I can make the Samoa squad at the end of the year then happy days but if not, I’ll still come down here and support the boys and watch the World Cup.”
Thomas Mikaele backs Samoa to follow in Tonga’s footsteps
Samoa’s Pacific neighbours Tonga have enjoyed a meteoric rise on the international scene. Kristian Woolf’s side reached the semi-finals at the 2017 World Cup, where they fell short to England.
Tonga then built on their momentum by picking up historic wins against Australia and Great Britain in 2019.
And Mikaele his backing his Samoans to reach the same heights as their Tongan brothers.
He told Love Rugby League: “If you get all the Polynesian boys playing for their nations it not only makes the World Cup great, but it also makes the game bigger. It would bring in more crowds.
“I think it would be great if everyone can play for their home nations. Look at the current Origin teams, I think there are like 11 boys in the 21-man squad with Samoan heritage and Queensland have a couple as well so it is pretty crazy to think of the sides you could put on paper of all the Polynesian nations.
“Look at Tonga and the calibre of players they’ve got in the NRL and over here in Super League. If that could happen with Samoa then there’s no doubt as a nation that we could be up there with the top three of England, Australia and New Zealand.”
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