As Samoa looks to make a fresh start, it’s time for rugby league’s sleeping giant to wake up.

The return of international rugby league after nearly three years lost to COVID-19 has given everyone a fresh start, and no one needs it more than the proud men of Samoa.

In a weekend that sees their Pacific rivals Tonga take on New Zealand in Auckland in what is truly a clash of two titans of test football, Samoa will once again try to get something going when they take on the Cook Islands on Saturday in Campbelltown.

There is a way that Samoa ends up joining Tonga along with Australia, New Zealand and England as one of the sport’s top-flight teams, but for this to happen, rugby league’s sleeping giant will need to wake up.

A man celebrates scoring a try in an NRL match
William Hopoate of Tonga celebrates with his teammates after scoring a try during the 2018 Pacific Test Invitational match between Tonga and Samoa at Campbelltown Sports Stadium on June 23, 2018 in Sydney, Australia.(Getty Images: Brendon Thorne)

And with Samoa playing host nation England in the opening World Cup match at the end of the season, there is no better time than now for the tide to turn.

“You only have to look at what the Tongans have done for their team to see what football means in the Pacific. We want to make the jersey proud, Samoa is a proud nation and we want to play well for them,” running back Anthony Milford said. .

“It’s a special week. I’m always honored to put on the jersey and I’m always grateful for the opportunity given to me by (coach) Matty Parish and the coaching staff. I can’t wait to represent my people and my family.”

Aware , updated

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