Andrew Johns on Samoa training, Matthew Johns, Tonga, Australia


Eighth Immortal Andrew Johns says he hasn’t given up on coaching Samoa alongside his brother Matthew.

The Johns brothers stunned the rugby league world last year when they went public with their vision to lead the second-tier nation, with legendary double-code icon Sonny Bill Williams also interested in joining the pair.

Former Balmain Tigers player Matt Parish is the current head coach of the Samoa national team, but his future in the role has become a matter of debate lately.

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“Matthew and I raised our hands to coach Samoa. We will do it for nothing, and we said we would do it for nothing,” Johns told Wide World of Sports. Immortal behavior.

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“We are both big believers in the Polynesian nations.”

Johns said he hoped Samoa would one day follow in the footsteps of Tonga, which in recent years has become an international power.

Tonga’s emergence was on full display when they stunned world champions Australia in 2019.

“We look at Tonga and what they have achieved, we believe we can replicate the same with Samoa,” he added.

“The best thing about Samoa is that they are a tier 2 nation. Guys can play Origin and play for Samoa, which I think should be the same with PNG, the Fiji and Tonga.

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“I have no doubt we can make Samoa work where they can challenge Australia, New Zealand and Great Britain every time they play.”

Samoa’s presence in the NRL today sees several big names playing at club level.

Panthers and Origin Premiership winning couple Penrith Jarome Luai and Brian To’o, along with Eels prop Junior Paulo and Titans captain Tino Fa’asuamaleaui, are just a handful of high profile stars who could represent the Samoas. All four players represented Tonga in 2019.

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“There’s going to come a point if Samona, Tonga, Fiji – those nations, get the right infrastructure, get the right training, get the sponsors… they’re going to beat Australia,” Johns explained.

“Now you look at the U-20s, over 50 per cent are juniors and in the first year I think it’s up to 40 per cent.

“We would like to do Samoa, but there are things that need to be checked off. We’ll see what happens.”

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