Toa Samoa 'happy' to work with coaching trio of SBW, Johns brothers at World Cup

After initially appearing to shut them out from any involvement, Rugby League Samoa have opened the door to NRL greats the Johns brothers and Sonny Bill Williams.

Sonny Bill Williams in Canberra. Source: ABC Australia

Matthew Johns said on Fox Sports last weekend he, his brother and potentially Williams were looking to help Toa Samoa emulate the recent success of Mate Ma’a Tonga by taking over as a possible coaching trio.

"We would do it for nothing. Quite seriously, and Joey is the same, you wouldn't take a cent. Sonny wouldn't," Johns said at the time.

"It would be a bit of three-way coaching. I don't know how it would work, but in my opinion Samoa should be emulating what Tonga are doing.

“There should be a goal that within a couple of years Samoa should be beating Australia, like Tonga have been doing."

However, Rugby League Samoa president Tagaloa Faafouina Su’a issued a statement yesterday insisting current Toa Samoa coach Matt Parish – who has led the team since 2013 – would continue in his role.

Tagaloa appeared to lighten his tone in a later statement though, saying Parish would be happy to work with the trio in the future.

“To date, we have had no contact from the Johns brothers nor SBW but I have spoken to Matt briefly this morning and he is happy that they have expressed an interest to help coach Samoa in the upcoming World Cup,” he said.

“He is hopeful of reaching out to them in the next couple of days to secure their commitment.”

Toa Samoa are scheduled to face host nation England in the opening match of the 2021 World Cup in Newcastle in October, before rounding out the group phase against Greece and France.

Samoa reached the quarter finals of the 2017 World Cup despite failing to win any of their four games.