Having to rely on a play-off win against Germany, Samoa found it very tough to qualify for Japan Samoa Rugby World Cup Fixtures, Squad, Group, GuideIt wouldn’t be a Rugby World Cup without Samoa but they found it tough to qualify. Having been overtaken by Pacific rivals Fiji and Tonga, they had to get through a two-legged play-off against Germany.They started their tournament with a win against Russia but lost their other three pool matches.How They QualifiedAfter coming third in the Pacific Tri-Nations behind Fiji and Tonga, Samoa had to go into a play-off with Germany to secure their qualification for the tournament. Over the two legs the islanders proved too strong and secured an aggregate win of 108-43 to go into Group A.Key PlayersBack-rowers Jack Lam and Piula Faasalele will be central to Samoa’s uncompromising defence. Chris Vui – the man who guided Samoa through their World Cup qualifiers – adds leadership to the group. In the backs, Melani Matavao is a livewire at scrum-half and look out for the footwork of Tim Nanai-Williams.Rampant: Forward Jack Lam for Samoa (Getty Images)The Coach – Steve JacksonThe former New Zealand Maori lock, who played for Auckland, North Harbour and Southland, was appointed Samoa head coach in September 2018. He has coaching experience with Massey, Tasman, Counties Manukau, North Harbour and Super Rugby franchise the Blues. He describes himself as a “players’ coach”, pointing to the importance of building connections with all the individuals in the squad so he knows how to help them perform.Top man: Steve Jackson is the Samoa coach (Getty Images)Major Work-onsThey have incredible power but can they direct it? Team cohesion is key. And that is not helped with a lot of Samoan talent playing club rugby in Europe rather than at the World Cup.Samoa Rugby World Cup Warm-upsSaturday 27 July 2019: Samoa 25-17 TongaSaturday 3 August 2019: USA 13-10 SamoaSaturday 10 August 2019: Fiji 10-3 SamoaSaturday 7 September 2019: Australia 34-15 SamoaRelated: 2019 Rugby World Cup Warm-ups Expand Russia Rugby World Cup Fixtures, Squad, Group, Guide Samoa Rugby World Cup GroupSamoa are in Group A alongside Ireland, Scotland, Japan and Russia.Related: 2019 Rugby World Cup GroupsSamoa Rugby World Cup Kit Physical: Ireland last played the big Samoans in 2013 (Getty Images)Samoa Rugby World Cup SquadSamoa have named their Rugby World Cup squad below;Forwards (17):Afaesetiti AmosaTJ IoaneJack LamPiula FaasaleleJosh TyrellChris VuiTeofilo PauloKane LeaupepeSenio ToleafoaMichael AlaalatoaPaul Alo-EmileJames LayJordan LayLogovi’i MulipolaMotu Matu’uRay NiuiaSeilala LamBacks (14):Ed FidowTim Nanai-WilliamsAh See TualaBelgium TuatagaloaHenry TaefuAlapati LeiuaReynold Lee-LoKieron FonotiaAJ AlatimuTusi PisiUlupano SeuteniDwayne PolotaivaoMelani MatavaoScott Malolua (replaced by Pele Cowley on 9 September after dislocating his shoulder)Related: 2019 Rugby World Cup FixturesPrevious World Cup Results and RecordSamoa’s Rugby World Cup Record: P32 W13 D0 L191991 Quarter-finals1995 Quarter-finals1999 Quarter-final play-offs2003 Pool stages2007 Pool stages2011 Pool stages2015 Pool stages2019 Pool stagesFollow our Rugby World Cup homepage which we update regularly with news and features. Ireland Rugby World Cup Fixtures, Squad, Group, Guide Russia’s qualification for the tournament was a shock… Scotland failed to reach the quarter-finals for only… Russia Rugby World Cup Fixtures, Squad, Group, Guide LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Scotland Rugby World Cup Fixtures, Squad, Group, Guide Hosting their first World Cup, Japan made history… Scotland Rugby World Cup Fixtures, Squad, Group, Guide A lot was expected of Ireland, but they… Japan Rugby World Cup Fixtures, Squad, Group, Guide Expand Ireland Rugby World Cup Fixtures, Squad, Group, Guide Collapse Expand Japan Rugby World Cup Fixtures, Squad, Group, Guide Samoa Rugby World Cup FixturesTue 24 Sep Russia 9-34 Samoa (Kumagaya) Match ReportMon 30 Sep Scotland 34-0 Samoa (Kobe) Match ReportSat 5 Oct Japan 38-19 Samoa (Toyota) Match ReportSat 12 Oct Ireland 47-5 Samoa (Fukuoka) Match Report Also make sure you know about the Groups, Warm-ups, Dates, Fixtures, Venues, TV Coverage, Qualified Teams by clicking on the highlighted links.Finally, don’t forget to follow Rugby World on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.