Despite England’s exit from the Rugby League World Cup at the semi-final stage last week at the hands of Samoa, there will still be some Super League stars taking to the field on Saturday in the final at Old Trafford.
Samoa are likely to have Tim Lafai of the Salford Red Devils at centre after his brace of tries helped sink England whilst Hull FC’s Ligi Sao will keep his place at second-row after also crossing for a vital try against England.
Meanwhile, Ken Sio is also in the 19-man squad for the game.
For all three it’s been a wild journey with none of the trio initially picked in the 23-man squad until injuries and controversies opened the door for them to take their place in Samoa’s squad.
For Hull FC’s Sao though, it was an even wilder journey with the forward in the midst of moving house when everything changed.
“We’d just moved house in Hull, it all happened pretty quickly. If I wasn’t called-up I’d have been supporting Samoa,” explained Sao speaking on the World Cup’s website.
“I was born in New Zealand but my parents are from Samoa. We’re really proud of the support we’ve been getting.
“Family and friends are calling and it’s all over the internet, the celebrations and the parades and things like that. Living in England for three years, to see all of that makes me feel really proud.”
He also gave some insight into what it was like when the winning drop goal went over:
“When Stephen Crichton hit the field goal, I just stood there watching it go over and I was full of all sorts of emotions. Beating England, in England, it’s definitely history.
“Sometimes I sit there and I can’t believe we’re one of the last two teams. I have to pinch myself.”