The Samoa rugby league side has been dealt a huge blow just over a month and half out from the Rugby League World Cup.
Josh Schuster is believed to have ruled himself out of the upcoming Rugby League World Cup to make himself available for a full pre-season with the Manly Sea Eagles.
In a change of tide where players are denouncing big nations to return to their Pacific roots, Schuster has chosen club over country.
Three weeks ago Canberra Raiders prop Josh Papalii pledged his allegiance to Samoa joining Panthers duo Jarome Luai and Brian To’o.
Schuster represented Samoa in their mid-season Test win over Cook Islands and there was high hopes that he would be Samoa’s five-eighth for the World Cup.
It is believed that Schuster wants his preferred position of five-eighth next season as veteran playmaker Kieran Foran heads to the Titans.
Schuster has told media in Australia that he intends to put all of his focus into pre-season with Manly given he will shift from the second row.
The World Cup kicks off on October 15 and wraps up with a final to be played on November 19.
Most of the Manly squad members won’t feature in this year’s final season and will likely return for pre-season in the first week of November.
Players involved in the World Cup will be given a longer break to recover.
Schuster has had a disappointing NRL season after starring in the second row for the Sea Eagles in 2021. He missed the first seven rounds this year due to an ankle injury, was benched from Round 11 and then left out of the 17 altogether in Round 21.
The player is considering giving his 100 per cent to club because they are paying the bills for him.
Although disappointed, the Samoa Rugby League said they wished Schuster all the best as he was the only one who knew what decision is to be made.
They said he would be missed but there was an abundance of talent with many players just waiting for a chance.
A number of Samoan players are playing in the Super League in the Northern Hemisphere and they too would be joining the team before the World Cup.