Ex-Leeds Rhinos man & former Wakefield Trinity boss turned away from Samoan training despite being invited

It has likely been a tough time recently for Willie Poching.

Despite turning things around as Wakefield boss in 2021 as well as finishing the 2022 season strongly guiding Trinity away from relegation, he and the club parted ways though it is said that Poching handled the decision with the class you’d expect from the Super League Grand Final winner with the Leeds Rhinos back in 2004.

Making matters worse, Poching has had to deal with something he described as ‘disappointing.’

This is because he was invited by Samoan Chairman Tagaloa Faafouina Su’a to present the shirts to the Samoan squad to lift spirits after a 60-6 defeat to England last week despite having a star-studded squad.

However, when the former Samoan captain, after he guided the team in the 2000 World Cup, was turned away when he arrived at the Samoan training base in Doncaster by a third party.

It left the former Rhino upset as he told the Eden Magnet: “I came away pretty upset, I feel like I’d done a lot for Samoa and the jersey.

“It is emotional for me and I said to my son who came with me ‘your grandfather would be really disappointed’.

“Dad was one of the blokes who started the team … There is no Toa Samoa right now as we know it.

“I’m still going to support them, that’s my duty to my country … but it does hurt.

“Those boys who walked off the field last week were disappointed.

“I wanted to show them support and that Samoans here still love them and that they can do well in this tournament.”

Matt Parish, the Samoan boss, has since been in touch with Poching to smooth things over ahead of their clash with Greece today.

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