Mapusua, a former Samoan international who played 26 Tests and who made 51 appearances in Super Rugby for the Highlanders between 2002-2006, said the build-up to the World Cup qualifying game with Tonga was crucial in moulding his side.
“This will be my first campaign and considering the impacts of Covid-19, it wasn’t an easy task selecting the Manu.
“However, I am very confident we have the best players to represent the jersey and earn us a spot for Rugby World Cup 2023,” he said.
On June 26, Manu Samoa will play the Māori All Blacks in Wellington and they will meet again a week later on July 23 at Mt Smart Stadium, the same venue for the All Blacks Test against Tonga.
Manu Samoa and Tonga will play the first leg of their World Cup qualifier at Mt Smart on July 10 and a week later they will play in Hamilton, ahead of the All Blacks’ Test with Fiji.
The squad is: Ah See Tuala (Northampton), AJ Alatimu (Seattle), Aki Seiuli (Glasgow), Alamanda Motuga (Counties Manukau), Albert Anae (Melbourne), Auvasa Falealii (Papatoetoe), Ben Nee Nee (Japan), D’Angelo Leuila (Hamilton), Dwayne Polataivao (Pakuranga), Elisapeta Alofip, Tam Uli Salelologa (Samoa), Henry Stowers (Canberra), Henry Taefu (Perth), Jack Lam (Japan), Joe Perez (Samoa), John Vaili (Samoa), JP Sauni (Australia), Kalolo Tuiloma (Counties Manukau), Losi Filipo (Bay of Plenty), Michael Alaalatoa (captain-Crusaders), Neria Fomai (Hawke’s Bay), Olajuwon Noa (Australia), Ray Niuia (Blues), Rodney Yona (Canberra), Sam Slade (Counties Manukau), Seilala Lam (France), Stacey Ili (Melbourne), Teofilo Paulo (Wellington), Theodore McFarland (Samoa), Tietie Tuimauga (Manawatu), TJ Ioane (Scotland), Tomasi Alosio (Wellington).