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The Manu are ready...

15 June 2017

Posted in: Pacific Radio News,

Manu Samoa are looking to shock the world with a world-class performance against the All Blacks in tomorrow's Pasifika Challenge.

The Samoan side that was named to take on the All Blacks, have only been together since late last week.

Eight players will be putting on the blue jersey for the very first time while Tim Nanai-Williams will be the only Super Rugby player in the team.

Manu Samoa are ready to take on the mighty All Blacks. Photo/ PRN.

Samoa's head coach Namulauulu Alama Ieremia says they've picked their strongest team to go head-to-head with the world champions.

"The All Blacks is not a team for us to experience with," he says. "We've gotta make sure we pick our strongest side." 

He says the Manu are under no illusion that the All Blacks will be push-overs for the one-off test, especially with just over a week of preparation.

"From a performance point of view, it's important that we're quite real about where we are," he says. "Doesn't matter what team they put out, the All Blacks are the All Blacks and there's no weak team for them." 

Manu Samoa Head Coach: Namulauulu Alama Ieremia. Photo/ PRN.

Meanwhile, Nanai-Williams says he wants a win over his cousin Sonny Bill Williams.

"We all know what he brings and we're gonna do our best to try and stop him," he says. "I'll definitely be putting a knee to his head a little bit in the ruck." 

The Manu Samoa number 11 says the match means a lot to their team and they're excited to play.

Ieremia says he's also excited, especially being welcomed and embraced by the Samoan community in New Zealand.

"It's very heartening to see the reception we've received so far," he says. 

 Nanai-Williams says their Samoan culture and faith has kept them close over the past week.

The two teams last played against each other in Samoa two years ago with a 25 to 16 win to the All Blacks.

Ieremia says the Manu will be using this game to upskill and qualify for the 2019 Rugby World Cup. 

Kick-off will be at 8pm at Auckland's Eden Park. 

Manu Samoa. Photo/ PRN. 

Tags: All Blacks, Manu Samoa, Tim Nanai-Williams, Namulauulu Alama Ieremia, Sonny Bill Williams,