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Samoa includes three former All Blacks for Rugby World Cup

APIA, SAMOA (AP) – Samoa has named England-based Chris Vui and Ireland-based Michael Ala’alatoa as co-captains and included three former All Blacks in its Rugby World Cup squad for the tournament beginning in France next month.

Bristol loose forward Vui and Leinster prop Ala’alatoa were included in a 32-man squad for the tournament, with one player to be named.

Samoa opens the tournament against Chile in a Pool D match on September 16. It then plays Argentina, Japan and England to complete its preliminary matches.

Coach Seilala Mapuusa named three former New Zealand internationals – flyhalf Lima Sopoaga, flanker Steven Luatua and prop Charlie Faumuina – while flyhalf Christian Leali’ifano represented Australia at the 2019 World Cup.

Samoa/Western Samoa did not play in the inaugural Rugby World Cup in 1987 but has played in all eight tournaments since. Their best performances were quarterfinals in 1991 and 1995.