Tuimavave ready for resurgent Samoa

Hull FC centre Carlos Tuimavave will again put his hand up for Samoa in next year’s World Cup and is excited by the form of a host of the country’s top players in the NRL.

Samoa endured a difficult tournament in 2017, drawing one and losing two of their group games before being beaten 46-0 by Australia in the quarter-finals.

But several star players are currently catching the eye Down Under, raising hopes that Samoa could emulate the kind of run that took Tonga to within minutes of the final three years ago.

Tuimavave was not selected in 2017 and hasn’t played for Samoa since 2015, but says he would love to pull on the blue shirt again next year.

He said: “I’ve always made myself available.

“It’s hard for Super League players and you can kind of get overlooked from the NRL coaches.

“But I’m willing to put my hand up again.”

The likes of Josh Papalii, Jerome Luai, Stephen Crichton and Martin Taupau have been among the form players in the NRL this season, potentially providing long-serving coach Matt Parish with a wealth of options to choose from.

With Pacific Rugby League enjoying a major resurgence through the performances of Tonga, Fiji and Papua New Guinea in the World Cup three years ago, Tuimavave believes Samoa can state their case next year.

He added: “The last two weeks I’ve been in isolation, so I’ve had a lot of time to watch television.

“I’ve definitely been following the games and there are some Samoan players playing very well at the moment.

“It’s exciting times ahead for the World Cup.”

Meanwhile Hull FC launched their special edition third shirt last week, 15 years to the day since their historic Challenge Cup Final win against Leeds Rhinos. The shirt includes a special gesture for 2005 defeated finalist Rob Burrow, with £5 from each shirt sold going to the Rob Burrow Fund.

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