Samoa's World Cup campaign has hit another major snag after skipper Roy Asotasi failed to turn up for the squad's flight to the UK and management are unaware of his whereabouts.
The former Kiwis skipper was named in the weekend to captain Samoa at the tournament, where they will open their campaign against the Kiwis on October 28 (NZT).
Samoa coach Matt Parish told the Warrington Guardian Asotasi was "lost'' and that a replacement had been called up.
"He is lost and still in Australia,'' Parish said. ``He wasn't there for the flight.
"We have lots of young players who want to represent their country.''
Asotasi's absence is another big blow to Samoa, who had hoped to assemble a strong squad. They had already lost centre Steve Matai, who had switched allegiance from New Zealand, and fellow front rower Jeff Lima with injury and Samoa's squad was delayed as Asotasi got medical clearance to play in the World Cup.
Asotasi, who played 24 tests for the Kiwis between 2004 and 2009, had been in good form for the Rabbitohs this season, helping them to within one game of the NRL grand final. He also captained Samoa in a one-off test with Tonga in April.
In an interesting subplot, the 31-year-old has signed to play for Warrington in the UK Super League for two seasons _ the same venue as Samoa will be based for the next few days.