Powerful Leota set to prop up Samoa

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The Independent Online

Trevor Leota is standing by to make a belated appearance in the Rugby World Cup, having originally refused to join the Samoa squad because he would not be getting paid while playing in Australia.

Following an injury to a Samoan prop in yesterday's epic encounter against England in Melbourne, Leota spoke to the Samoan management. "I will know in the next 24 hours whether I will be needed, but I am not building up my hopes," he said.

The powerful Samoan revealed that he had found a sponsor who would be able to ensure that a trip to Australia would not set him back financially. In a poll carried out last week at the World Cup, asked who was the hardest tackler they had come up against in the world, more than 90 per cent of players replied, "Trevor Leota".

With a quarter-final place at stake when the South Sea Islanders meet South Africa next weekend, there is no doubt that Leota - who came on as a replacement tighthead for Wasps yesterday and can play as hooker or prop - would be a welcome addition to the Samoans.

The misery continues for Rotherham, who went down 47-26 at London Irish - their seventh straight defeat. They remain bottom of the Zurich Premiership table.

Michael Horak scored two tries for the Exiles, whose grand tally of five touchdowns meant that they picked up their first try bonus point of the season. Barry Everitt scored a try, two conversions and a penalty, while Mark Mapletoft kicked 15 points.

Titans' points came from tries by the full-back Jon Benson and Anthony Elliott with 16 points coming from the boot of the stand-off Jason Strange.

Leicester's 32-15 home defeat to Northampton Saints was labelled "unacceptable" by their director of rugby, Dean Richards. Tigers have now lost four on the trot in an unprecedented run.

The former All Black Andrew Blowers was in inspirational form, while Shane Drahm scored 19 points, with five penalties and then the conversion of both of Bruce Reihana's tries. There was also a 50-metre drop goal from the full-back, Nick Beal.

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