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IRB: Samoa will face England

The International Rugby Board has moved to allay fears that Samoa's players could boycott their game against England at Twickenham on November 22.

The IRB said it was made aware last month of the Samoan national squad's concerns surrounding administration of the Samoa Rugby Union.

The sport's governing body confirmed there had been "an indication" that Samoa's players would withdraw from next week's clash.

England launched their autumn campaign against world champions New Zealand last weekend. They meet South Africa on Saturday, followed by Samoa and then Australia.

In a statement, the IRB said: "On October 27, the IRB was made aware of concerns raised by the Samoa senior men's national squad regarding the administration of the Samoa Rugby Union.

"This included an indication that the players would withdraw from the match against England on November 22 if their concerns were not heard.

"Subsequently, the IRB engaged in dialogue with the Samoa Rugby Union and the International Rugby Players' Association to facilitate urgent and collaborative resolution.

"With all parties, including the players, committed to ongoing dialogue, just under two weeks ago the players withdrew their proposed action to withdraw from the England match, and the IRB fully expects the Union to undertake its obligation to honour its November Test programme commitment in full."

The Samoa players are currently in France preparing for Friday night's appointment with Canada.


From Belfast Telegraph