Samoa star Jarome Luai has admitted he is seeking revenge ahead of the World Cup semi-final against England at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday.
Luai and his Samoan team were stunned in week one as despite going into their opener against England as favourites, they were humiliated 60-6 by Shaun Wane’s side at St James’ Park in Newcastle.
Part of the build up around that opening game focused on the stand-off battle between NRL Premiership winner Luai and Super League Grand Final champion Welsby.
Despite claims on the other side of the world that Luai would outclass his opposite number, it was actually the reverse as Welsby put on a show to embarrass the Samoans.
Now though, the pair are preparing to meet again with Luai and Samoa seeking revenge and a spot in their first-ever Rugby League World Cup Final.
Speaking about the battle with Welsby and the constant verbal exchange between the two, Luai said: “If it comes man, I’ll never back down from that sort of thing, it’s who I am.
“It’s all about competitiveness out there. He’s been killing it this tournament and he’s 1-0 up at the moment, so I’ll try and get him back this week.
“It was a good battle and I get to come up against him again this week and hopefully I can get one back on him.”
On the team front, a lot was made of Samoa after the opening game, but they have responded well to reach the semi-finals after an epic last eight showdown with Pacific rivals Tonga.
Speaking about the rematch with the hosts, Luai is confident his side will be a different animal in London on Saturday and has talked up his team’s chances.
“It is a bit different this time round from the last time we played England,” he said. “After that game it was a bit of a pressure relief as there was a lot of expectation around the team.
“But we’ve been able to put our heads down and nail our roles and our game plan and it’s all about execution on Saturday.”