Eight potential debutants have been named in a new look Manu Samoa squad that has been named for the July Tests against Italy and Spain.

Nine players have been selected from Moana Pasifika and three from the Manuma Samoa.

Jordan Lay, James Lay, Donald Brighouse, Suetena Asomua, Miracle Failagi, Taleni Seu, Rodney Yona, Jacob Umaga, Tumua Manu, Henry Taefu, Neria Fomai and Pepesana Patafilo were not selected because of injuries.

Five players contracted to European clubs were named in the squad. Notable omissions are Fritz Lee, Michael Alaalatoa and Chris Vui. This could mean the captaincy role would go to someone new.

For head coach Mase Mahonri Schwalger, this will be his first test as he takes control of the squad. It seems Mase’s mantra is different from his predecessors as he has mostly selected players from the younger age bracket.

“These matches will provide valuable insights into our future strategies. Hosting Italy, one of the top Tier 1 nations in the world, is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate and bring rugby back to our people,” said Mase.

Faleomavaega Vincent Fepuleai, CEO of Lakapi Samoa, expressed his congratulations to Mase, the team of selectors, and the coaching team for their initial selection of Manu Samoa for 2024.

“In the July Test Series, we are excited to welcome back, Italy and Spain, to Samoa. We look forward to seeing our Manu Samoa play its first test at Apia Park,” said Faleomavaega.

In July, Manu Samoa is set to face Italy and Spain in Test matches at Apia Park, setting the stage for the upcoming 2024 Pacific Nations Cup preparations in August. Manu Samoa will face Italy on 5 July and Spain on 13 July.

Manu Samoa squad: Lolani Faleiva, Marco Fepuleai, Tietie Tuimauga, Kalolo Tuiloma, Aki Seiuli Pata, Sama Malolo, Andrew Tuala, JP Sauni, Michael Curry, Samuel Slade, Senio Toleafoa, Benjamin Petaia, Theodore Mcfarland, Murphy Taramai, Izaiha Moore-Aiono, Olajuwon Noa, Iakopo Mapu, Fred Tuilagi, Melani Matavao, Jonathan Taumateine, Ereatara Enari, Afa Moleli, D’angelo Leuila, Duncan Paia’ua, Danny Toala, Stacey Ili, Sebastian Visinia, Alapati Leiua, Pisi Leilua, Nigel Ah Wong, Owen Niue Fetu, Tomasi Alosio.