‘A massive privilege’: Fetu Samoa relish Williams-Guthrie inclusion
Fetu Samoa vice captain Christian Pio says the squad are privileged to have the opportunity to play alongside cross-code star Niall Williams-Guthrie this month.
After moving to the NRLW this year following a long and successful career representing New Zealand in rugby union, Williams-Guthrie has been confirmed to captain Samoa in the Pacific Championships Test against Fiji Bulikula in Port Moresby on October 15.
Williams-Guthrie enjoyed a strong first year in rugby league, appearing in every game for the Titans as they went on to finish as runners-up to the Knights in the grand final.
“It’s just a massive privilege to be playing alongside someone like Niall with so much experience,” Pio said at the squad announcement in Sydney on Tuesday.
“When I played against her [in the NRLW] she was complimenting how we play; having that talk from someone like her was pretty exciting.”
Among the other household names included in coach Jamie Soward’s squad are Queensland Maroons hooker Destiny Brill and Broncos prop Annetta Nu’uausala, who previously played 12 Tests for the Kiwi Ferns and was part of last year’s World Cup final loss to Australia.
Joining Williams-Guthrie in the group are Titans teammates Destiny Mino-Sinapti and Sienna Lofipo, who have both earned selection after strong rookie campaigns.
Outside of the NRLW contingent, Soward has included Auckland-based talent Onjeurlina Hunt and Makayla Eli, while Anasis Afia makes the squad from the Samoa domestic scene.
Fetu Samoa squad
Niall Williams-Guthrie (Gold Coast Titans), Christian Pio (Wests Tigers), Annetta Nuuausala (Brisbane Broncos), Onjeurlina Hunt (Auckland Vulcans), Makayla Eli (Auckland Vulcans), Taylor Mapusua (St George Dragons), Destiny Mino-Sinipati (Gold Coast Titans), Lindsay Tui (Parramatta Eels), Petesa Lio (Canberra Raiders), Pauline Piliae-Rasabale (Wests Tigers), Sienna Lofipo (Gold Coast Titans), Destiny Brill (Brisbane Broncos), Pihuka Berryman-Duff (Parramatta Eels), Fiona Jahnke (Cronulla Sharks), Jetaya Faifua (North Queensland Cowboys), Janelle Williams (Canberra Raiders), Tamerah Leati (Newcastle Knights), Tafao Asaua (Manly Sea Eagles), Malaela Sua (Gold Coast Titans), Anasis Afia (Apia, Samoa), Avery-Rose Carmont (Auckland Vulcans).