Sam Panapa

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Sam Panapa
Personal information
Full name Samuel Lameko Panapa[1]
Born New Zealand
Playing information
Position Wing, Five-eighth
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1984–85 Sheffield Eagles 14 7 0 0 28
1985–90 Te Atatu
1990–91 Sheffield Eagles 24 14 0 0 56
1991–94 Wigan 119 45 0 0 180
1994–96 Salford 71 36 0 0 144
Total 228 102 0 0 408
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1986–91 Auckland
1986 Tokelau
1990–91 New Zealand 8 6 0 0 24
1995 Western Samoa 2 0 0 0 0
Source: [2]

Samuel Lameko Panapa is a New Zealand former professional rugby league footballer of the 1980s and 1990s. He represented three countries in his career: Tokelau, New Zealand, and Western Samoa. Panapa played his club football in Auckland as well as England, where he won several titles with the champion Wigan side of the 1990s.

Playing career

A Te Atatu Roosters junior in the Auckland Rugby League competitions,[3] Panapa played club football in Britain for Wigan. He represented Tokelau at the 1986 Pacific Cup,[4] and later for New Zealand. During the 1991–92 Rugby Football League season, Panapa played for defending champions Wigan at centre in their 1991 World Club Challenge victory against the visiting Penrith Panthers. During the 1992–93 Rugby Football League season Panapa played from the interchange bench for defending RFL champions Wigan in the 1992 World Club Challenge against the visiting Brisbane Broncos.

Sam Panapa played as an Interchange/Substitute, i.e. number 15, (replacing Loose forward/Lock Phil Clarke on 9-minutes) in Wigan's 15-8 victory over Bradford Northern in the 1992–93 Regal Trophy Final during the 1992–93 season at Elland Road, Leeds on Saturday 23 January 1993,[5] and played as an Interchange/Substitute, i.e. number 14, (replacing Second-row Neil Cowie on 30-minutes) in the 2-33 defeat by Castleford in the 1993–94 Regal Trophy Final during the 1993–94 season at Elland Road, Leeds on Saturday 22 January 1994.

Sam joined Salford in 1994–95 Rugby Football League season, and helped them attain Super League status following a Grand Final victory over Keighley Cougars at Old Trafford. Following that game Sam announced his retirement and returned to Auckland Warriors as Fitness Coach.

After the 1993–94 Rugby Football League season Panapa travelled with defending champions Wigan to Brisbane, playing at centre in their 1994 World Club Challenge victory over Australian premiers, the Brisbane Broncos.

He played for Western Samoa at the 1995 Rugby League World Cup.

Coaching career

Between 2006 and 2008 Panapa coached the Auckland side. In 2006 he was the Assistant Coach for the New Zealand Residents team.[6]


  1. ^ PANAPA, SAMUEL LAMEKO 1987, 1990 - 91 - KIWI #602
  2. ^ "Statistics at". 31 December 2017. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  3. ^ 1986 Lion Red Rugby League Annual, New Zealand Rugby Football League, 1986. p.101
  4. ^ John Coffey, Bernie Wood (2008). 100 years: Māori rugby league, 1908-2008. Huia Publishers. pp. 224–226. ISBN 9781869693312.
  5. ^ "23rd January 1993: Bradford 8 Wigan 15 (Regal Trophy Final)". 31 December 2014. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
  6. ^ Coffey, John and Bernie Wood Auckland, 100 years of rugby league, 1909-2009, 2009. ISBN 978-1-86969-366-4, p.p.349-357.

External links

  • World Cup 1995 details
  • Sam Panapa on the Wigan RL Fansite.
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