Australia or Samoa: Brian To’o’s World Cup decision

07 May 22, 11:06AM 0 Comments

Written by Oliver Kellner-Dunk

Photo by Getty Images

Since making his NRL debut back in 2019 Brian To’o has arguably become the best winger in the world.

His success has led to him being selected to represent New South Wales in the 2021 State of Origin series which the Blues went on to win and a premiership later in the year with his club side the Penrith Panthers who claimed their third-ever title and first in 18 years.

Barring injury To’o will also undoubtedly take part in this year’s Rugby League World Cup but the nation he will be representing is unknown at this point.

To’o has played in one International game before and that was for Samoa at the end of 2019 when they were defeated by Fiji.

Ever since there have been calls for him to pledge his allegiance to Australia as there were for his close friend and Panthers teammate Jarome Luai.

However, Luai essentially shut the door on an International allegiance switch to Australia when he became an ambassador for Samoan Rugby League last year.

It is believed that Luai has been trying to convince To’o to represent Samoa at the Rugby League World Cup this year and that the winger will likely do so although this has not yet been confirmed.

The 23-year-old commented on his allegiance at the beginning of 2021 in an interview with Sporting News Australia.

“I had a good talk with my family about it, especially my brother and my dad,” To’o said.

“They’re backing me whatever I decide.

“Pretty sure my goal would be Samoa, so we will see how it goes.

“We want to lift that standard like the Tongan team, how they came out on top against Australia.

“That’s something we want to do, take it up to the next level and do whatever we can to get to that level.”

If To’o’s sentiments had remained the same a little over a year later, he would be donning the blue of Samoa at the World Cup and take on hosts England, Greece and France in the group stage and look to push deep into the finals.

However, in an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald in February To’o revealed that his parents would like him to play for Australia and that if he is selected there is a good chance he will represent the Kangaroos.

“I had a little discussion with my parents and they definitely want me to play for Australia,” To’o said

“They are always mentioning how hard it is to make the Australian team.

“My parents are getting old now and if I ever got the chance to play for Australia then I’d definitely tick that box.

“If not then I can always fall back on Samoa.”

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