How Manly Sea Eagles star Josh Schuster is honouring his family during the Samoa Test match


All of their work will culminate in Schuster’s appearance for Samoa on Saturday.

“It’s very emotional,” David said. “Josh knows how much we love him. The main thing is he knows the people to trust; that family is more important than all the rumours and stories he hears from people.

“Saturday will be a big day for him. It’s different from club football, playing for your country.

“You don’t feel it until the national anthem starts playing. Then you start thinking of all these people you play for. It will be a good experience for him.”

Josh Schuster celebrates a try with Jason Saab last year.Credit:NRL Photos

One of the other people Schuster is playing for is Keith Titmuss. The pair were childhood best friends, who spoke about their ambition to represent Samoa together. Tragically, Titmuss died at the age of 20 in November 2020 during a routine training session. Saturday’s Test will be for Titmuss as well.

“I went to primary school with him and we spoke about many things,” Schuster said. “One of the main things was to represent Samoa together. I’m definitely doing it for him and his family as well. I know they are very proud of me and I know he is watching over me as well.

“I know Keithy very well. He will definitely be laughing at me because he says I’m ‘plastic’. It’s a saying for people who are Samoan, but can’t speak Samoan; when you only understand the language – and the swear words!

“He will be very proud of me.”

Schuster is in the unique position of being eligible to represent Samoa, Australia and New Zealand. At some point in the future, the 21-year-old would like to also pull on the sky blue and the green and gold.

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“I also want to represent Australia and NSW, they are the main two goals I want to achieve,” he said.

Schuster will get the chance to press those claims as he regains match fitness after a series of injury setbacks, particularly when he shifts from the back row into his preferred five-eighth position when Kieran Foran leaves Manly at the end of the year.

“I watched [Daly Cherry-Evans] play when I was young and to play in the halves with him will be pretty special,” Schuster said. “He’s a top bloke, I love him to death.”

The priority, however, will be to showcase his dazzling skills on the international stage, following in the footsteps of his family. Schuster suspects the emotion of the occasion may get the better of him during the pre-game Samoan wae dance, the Siva Tau.

“I’ll try my best not to tear up,” he said. “It will be the best thing ever.”

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