Samoa World Cup squad welcomed to Pacific Island in parade

Junior Paulo Samoa. PA Images Credit: Alamy
Junior Paulo Samoa. PA Images Credit: Alamy

The Samoa World Cup squad were welcomed as heroes during a parade in the country on Thursday morning following their history-making year.

The team and coaching staff were officially welcomed to the Pacific nation following their record-breaking tournament at the delayed 2021 World Cup.

Samoa became the first Pacific Island nation to reach a World Cup final, defeating hosts England in the semi-finals in London.

They would go on to lose 30-10 to Australia at Old Trafford in the final, but were greeted as heroes by thousands of cheering supporters just more than a month later.

The team enjoyed a parade before greeting fans, with both head coach Matt Parish and captain Junior Paulo speaking to the crowd.

The event was also streamed live on social media.

“What a great nation Samoa is,” Parish said. 

“I’d like to thank everybody that made coming back here possible, particularly the Government and their ongoing support for Rugby League Samoa.

“It’s been a great end to 2022 and I’d like to wish all Samoans around the world all the best for 2023.” 

Paulo added: “Samoa, you are the reason why we are here today. We see how much it means to you.

“We are so proud to be here to celebrate with you all and with our families, our friends but most of all with our people. We’re sorry you had to wait a couple of weeks but we are finally here. We wouldn’t want to be anywhere else in the world.”

Their impressive tournament saw them promoted to third in the world rankings in the Men’s game. Australia regained their spot at the top following the World Cup triumph.

More International Rugby League content

Dutch star Joran Schoenmaker signs pro deal with North Wales Crusaders

Oldham snap up Fiji international

Australia men and women top of world rankings following World Cup success

FOLLOW: Keep up with all the latest on the Love Rugby League mobile app and podcast

The article Samoa World Cup squad welcomed to Pacific Island in parade appeared first on