Samoa's Luai to make an enemy of Cleary

Samoan five-eighth Jarome Luai has lit the fuse ahead of a Rugby League World Cup final showdown with good mate Nathan Cleary, declaring "there are no friends on the field".

Samoa will play in their country's first-ever final against Australia at Old Trafford next week after defeating tournament hosts England 27-26 in London.

Luai, like many of this Samoan side, followed the lead of Tonga's 2017 team by withdrawing their allegiance to Australia or New Zealand.

The Penrith No.6 had the option to play for either the Kangaroos or the Kiwis but his decision to represent Samoa has now paid off.

It is set to pit him against an Australia team boasting Cleary - his long-term Penrith teammate as their halfback, in the biggest game of their careers.

And Luai says that's where the niceties will end.

"It's going to be awesome, we are competitors through and through," he said.

"It's going to be a battle against one of my boys, but out there - there's no friends on the field.

"There are only brothers and enemies and I'm always going to look at it the same way.

"We grew up in the same comp but we haven't played each other on a real high (level)."

Luai said "the stakes are much higher" than when he and Cleary used to face off for their respective clubs of St Mary's and Brothers in the Penrith junior competitions.

There's a World Cup on the line and despite Australia's dominance it's a tournament - even as a tier-two nation - they feel they can win.

"We've got a great team with a lot of talent within our side," he said.

"It's a simple game and if you're not completing high, then it's going to be pretty tough to win the game. That's our main focus and our belief.

"Belief got us this far when not many people believe in us.

"But with our group there's plenty of that and we always believed we could shake the comp up."