American Samoa
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s)Talavalu
UnionAmerican Samoa Rugby Union
Head coachToma Akuino Leota
First colours
World Rugby ranking
Current112 (as of October 2, 2023)
First international
American Samoa 0–55 Western Samoa
(September 1983)
Biggest win
American Samoa 30–15 Solomon Islands
(22 August 2015)
Biggest defeat
American Samoa 0–55 Western Samoa
(September 1983)

The American Samoa national rugby union team, also known as the "Talavalu", represents the American Samoa Rugby Union in international rugby union. As of September 2023, it is the lowest ranked World Rugby team.[1]

The Talavalu is the name of a traditional Samoan war weapon, originally carved out of ironwood. As can be seen on the right side of the American Samoa Rugby Union logo, it resembles a club but has eight diamond-shaped teeth carved on one edge. Translated, "tala" is teeth, and "valu" is eight.[2]

History

See also: Rugby union in American Samoa

National development of rugby union in American Samoa has been overshadowed by the popularity of American football since the 1970s. Unlike neighbouring Samoa, American Samoa has had limited international rugby competition. Most of American Samoa's matches have been played at the South Pacific Games.[2]

American Samoa's first international 15's match was at the 1983 South Pacific Games in Apia, where they lost 55–0 to Western Samoa (as it was then called).[3] They did not make the final stages of that tournament. American Samoa fared much better at the 1991 South Pacific Games in Port Moresby, notching up wins against Solomon Islands and French Polynesia. While they lost 34–7 to Western Samoa in the final, the American Samoans won the rugby 15's silver medal.[3][4]

The South Pacific Games (now called the Pacific Games) subsequently switched to hosting rugby 7s in preference to rugby 15s, and the ASRU, while still eligible for the FORU Oceania Cup, turned more of its attention toward the seven-a-side form of the game. American Samoa competed at the Pacific Games Rugby 7s in 2011, and the Oceania Rugby 7s in 2011 and 2012.[2]

In 2015 the Talavalu made their first appearance at the Oceania Rugby Cup. They won their first match against the Solomon Islands 30–15.[5] In their second game, they lost to Papua New Guinea 36–22.[6][7] Their third game against Tahiti was also a loss, 8–20. The Talavalu's finished the tournament in third place.[8][9]

Diaspora

Due to limited opportunities at home, notable American Samoan players have been selected in other national teams instead of American Samoa. Frank Solomon was the pioneer, playing for New Zealand in the 1930s; and Jerome Kaino was a key member of New Zealand's Rugby World Cup-winning teams in 2011 and 2015.[10] American Samoans that have represented United States include Mose Timoteo, Valenise Malifa, the Suniula brothers (Andrew, Roland and Shalom) and Junior Sifa.[11][12]

Record

Overall

Against Played Won Lost Drawn Win %
 Papua New Guinea 1 0 1 0 0.00
 Solomon Islands 1 1 0 0 100.00
 Tahiti 1 0 1 0 0.00
Total 3 1 2 0 33.33

Recent Squad

Squad for the 2015 Oceania Rugby Cup:[13]

Management

See also

Reference list

  1. ^ https://www.world.rugby/tournaments/rankings/mru
  2. ^ a b c "Welcome to Amerika Samoa Rugby". American Samoa Rugby Union. Archived from the original on 2013-08-13. Retrieved 11 November 2013.
  3. ^ a b "American Samoa Rugby Union Results". rugbyinternational.net. Archived from the original on 11 November 2013. Retrieved 11 November 2013.
  4. ^ "Results for the South Pacific Games series". rugbyinternational.net. Archived from the original on 11 November 2013. Retrieved 11 November 2013.
  5. ^ "TALAVALU wins opening match at Oceania Cup". Samoa News.com. 22 August 2015. Archived from the original on 23 August 2015. Retrieved 3 November 2015.
  6. ^ Fausia, Ausage (27 August 2015). "Talavalu heads into round 3 after loss to PNG". Samoa News.com. Archived from the original on 12 September 2015. Retrieved 3 November 2015.
  7. ^ "Round 2 of Oceania Rugby Cup Review". Oceania Rugby.com. 28 August 2015. Retrieved 3 November 2015.
  8. ^ "Preview for final match of ORC 2015". Oceania Rugby.com. 29 August 2015. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 3 November 2015.
  9. ^ Fausia, Ausage (31 August 2015). "Talavalu comes in 3rd place at the 2015 Oceania Cup". Samoa News.com. Archived from the original on 15 September 2015. Retrieved 3 November 2015.
  10. ^ "Rugby: Kaino book captures essence of adjusting". Hawke's Bay Today. 1 August 2015.
  11. ^ "The Impact of American Samoa". This is American Rugby. 23 May 2012.
  12. ^ "Auckland-raised Suniula brothers eye All Blacks". ESPN. 30 October 2014.
  13. ^ Solofa, Monique (18 August 2015). "Safe travels and best of luck to our national 15s squad headed to Papua New Guinea for the Oceania cup!". Taputimu Youth Sports CLUB. Retrieved 3 November 2015.