Samoa ready for tune up in Wagga ahead of World Cup

NEW IDOL: Samoa captain Frank Pritchard with young fan Nathan Hardy, 8, at Parramore Park on Wednesday. Picture: Courtney Rees
NEW IDOL: Samoa captain Frank Pritchard with young fan Nathan Hardy, 8, at Parramore Park on Wednesday. Picture: Courtney Rees

Samoa captain Frank Pritchard believes Wagga is the perfect place for his team to blow out some of the cobwebs ahead of the World Cup.

The team arrived in the city on Wednesday ahead of Friday night’s clash with Country under 23s at Equex Centre.

They had the first of two training sessions in before taking on the best in the bush.

With Wagga the first stop in the team’s assault on the World Cup, Pritchard is looking to use the game to get timing and combinations right.

“There are some blokes in the team who haven’t played in a while so it is good to get the cobwebs out,” Pritchard said.

“But other than that it is good to be down here in Wagga.

“It is good for the community, good for us and rugby league wins at the end of the day.”

Pritchard is one of the few Samoans to have played at Equex Centre.

He was part of the Bulldogs team who tackled Canberra in in 2012, and is looking forward to taking on the Country team.

He expects they will be pumped up for the challenge.

New Zealand and Tonga loom as the big challenges in the pool, but Pritchard isn’t looking to far ahead.

“We are in a tough pool, but we are just taking it one game at a time,” he said.

Instead the 33-year-old is relishing the chance to pull on the blue jumper once again.

It’s particularly special after reclaiming the captaincy.

“It is also a pleasure getting to lead the boys and your country into a World Cup,” Pritchard said.

“I was out injured last Test so it is an honour, a privilege and something I don’t take for granted.”