Taking on the likes of Jarryd Hayne in the Rugby League World Cup has provided Tui Samoa with a career highlight.
The Young utility is part of the USA team taking on the world’s best rugby league players.
While Sunday’s 58-12 loss to Fiji was a heavy one, the experience of taking on a team full of NRL talent will be a lasting memory.
“It is a good experience against guys like Jarryd Hayne, (Akuila) Uate and most of the Fijian team are NRL players,” Samoa said.
“Up against the USA, where we don’t have much depth in the team, it was good.”
Samoa is no stranger to representing the US, after being part of the 2013 World Cup, but after missing a qualifying match against Canada he was surprised to get a call up.
However he is thrilled to be part of it all again.
“It is good to be back part of a World Cup again,” Samoa said.
“It was a surprise, I didn’t really think about it too much after missing that qualifying match.
“I was just enjoying my footy in Young when I got the call up and you can’t say no to that.”
Samoa came off the bench against Fiji and expects to fill the same role to take on Italy in Townsville on Sunday.
The Italians suffered a 36-12 loss to Ireland last Sunday and the Cherrypicker expects a much more even affair.
“It is going to be a good turnaround for both teams,” he said.
“We have to rebuild now after Fiji and are looking to playing Italy who are coming off a big loss as well.
“I’m sure they will be keen to put their best foot forward the same as us.”
Like the 34-year-old, most of the team qualifies due to their American Samoa heritage but the team features 10-American based players as rugby league continues to make its mark stateside.
After first coming to Young in 2015, Samoa return this season but is yet to look in what his future holds.
“I’m haven’t talked to the club to see what is going on for next year,” he said.
“So far I’ve just been talking to Junee so we will see what happens.”