Manu Samoa forwards Josh Tyrell and Piula Faʻasalele are in doubt for this weekend’s Rugby World Cup qualifier against Germany.
Doncaster Knights lock Tyrell and Toulouse flanker Faʻasalele both started in the 66-15 first leg victory in Apia nine days ago.
Head coach Fuimaono Titimaea Tafua said the pair suffered the injuries during a training camp in England at the end of last week.
“Our physio and the doctor are still working trying to get them back soon,” he said.
“We’re not sure – we will wait until our training tomorrow. (Monday local time) will be the first date we are expecting them to train and also the whole team to train tomorrow.
“I think that will be the first time that our whole team will train together.”
“That’s the reason why we bring 28 players over and now we have two players injured during our training sessions on Thursday and Friday,” Fuimaono said.
The full Samoan squad, including a few late arrivals from New Zealand, landed in Germany this morning after spending five days training in Guilford, south of London, ahead of the second leg match in Heidelberg, Germany.
Fuimaono said the first leg victory was a welcome result after nine consecutive test defeats.
“It is very good for our country and also our supporters, especially our families as well – the players’ families – they’ve been praying for the team.
“It’s a very good opportunity for our rugby because we really want to go to the World Cup next year so I think after the game on Saturday the pressure will ease off from us.”
Samoa’s Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, who is also the Chair of the Samoa Rugby Union, accused the players of lacking guts in the lead-up to the match in Apia but Fuimaono insisted the comments had a positive effect on the team.
“It’s very good for our players as well. It’s very good motivation for our players…there’s no problem at all between us and our Prime Minister, which is (also) our Chairman,” he said.
“No, everything is alright.”
The winner of the home and away playoff will qualify for next year’s World Cup in Japan, joining the host nation, Ireland, Scotland and Russia in Pool A.