Samoa to target England playmaker Marcus Smith in bid for major upset

  • Third place would see Pacific islanders make 2027 tournament
  • 'We want to beat England more than anything' – Duncan Paia'aua

Marcus Smith will be a marked man if he lines up at full-back again against Samoa next week with the Pacific islanders wary of the threat posed by England's attacking livewire.

Samoa go into next Saturday's match without any realistic hopes of reaching the knockout stages but can seal third spot in the pool to guarantee qualification for the 2027 World Cup. More than that, however, locking horns with England gives them the opportunity to claim a major scalp in a rare encounter with one of the established nations.

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