Leuluai seat to lead Samoa

English Super League star Kylie Leuluai has shaken off a mystery stomach bug and will take his place as captain of Samoa for tomorrow night’s SP Brewery Pacific Cup qualifying match in Cairns.

The Leeds Rhinos mainstay had to be rushed to hospital today after experiencing severe stomach cramps but said it was going to take more than some “dodgy pasta” to stop him from playing in Barlow Park clash, which is expected to attract up to 8,000 local fans.

“I must have eaten some dodgy pasta or something but I’m all good to go now,” Leuluai said today.

“It’s going to be a huge game for us and the Cook Islands.

“We both want to go to PNG for the Pacific Cup and have a chance of winning it so it will be no holds barred tomorrow night.

“Especially with the hardship our people are facing back home, I’m sure it will really spur us on because it’s an emotional time for a lot of the boys who have family there.”

Samoa received a further boost today with news Penrith Panthers veteran Tony Puletua, who was in Sydney tending to family commitments, will attend the match in support.

While Puletua was unavailable for selection in tomorrow night’s game he is confirmed for the SP Brewery Pacific Cup should Samoa win through to the tournament.

Meanwhile, Cook Islands captain Tere Glassie believes his young side will go into the match with nothing to fear and everything to gain.

“We’ve got a really young side but the thing with young blokes is that they’re fearless and do everything 100 miles an hour,” Glassie said.

“A lot of them are Toyota Cup Under-20 players so they’ve got a lot of confidence.

“The enthusiasm in the squad is great and we’re all extremely proud to be representing our nation so I’m sure it’ll be a great game.”

SP Brewery Pacific Cup Qualifying Match
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Barlow Park, Cairns
Kickoff 7.30pm

SAMOA

COOK ISLANDS

Peter Matautia

Fullback

Monikura Tikinau

Patrick Ah Van

Wing

Lulia Lulia

Sam Tagataese

Centre

Brad Takirangi

Tagi Ropati

Centre

Anthony Gelling

Misi Taulapapa

Wing

Dominique Peroux

Kyle Stanley

Five Eighth

Johnathan Ford

Albert Talapeau

Halfback

Daniel Fepuleai

Kylie Leuluai (c)

Prop

Tere Glassie (c)

Terence Seuseu

Hooker

Samuel Brunton

Mark Taufua

Prop

Ben Vaeau

Harrison Hansen

Second row

Fred Makimare

Phillip Leuluai

Second row

Leon Panapa

Joseph Paulo

Lock

Sema Mataora

Masada Iosefa

Interchange

John Viiga

Jack Afamasaga

Interchange

Vincent Ngaro

Paul Chan Tung

Interchange

Arona Tinirau

Tanielu Pasene

Interchange

Fabien Sautar

Reserve

Zane Tetevano

Willie Poching

COACH

David Fairleigh