FUKUOKA, 10 Oct - Samoa may already be out of Rugby World Cup 2019 but a good game against Ireland could be career-defining for players without a club contract.
As well as the opportunity to claim one of the biggest wins in Samoa's World Cup history, a final chance to showcase their skills in rugby's biggest competition adds extra motivation for the players who put their club careers aside to join Manu Samoa.
"Saturday is a big opportunity for me so I will definitely take it with both hands," second-row Filo Paulo, pictured, said.
"I obviously don't want to be selfish and try to do the thing myself because the team comes first, and I'll obviously try to do my job for the team as best as I can, and leave the contract side off-field. But obviously it's a bit stressful that the World Cup is coming to an end and nothing is up on the table."
Paulo's stint at English side London Irish ended earlier this year. Captain Jack Lam, winger Belgium Tuatagaloa and scrum-halves Dwayne Polataivao, Melani Matavao and Pele Cowley are also without a club contract.
"We could have a performance of a lifetime and then land that awesome deal. Or it could go the opposite and we'd just be at home working in the rigs," Paulo said.
"(We must) win the game and then win the contract. It's a win-win."
After beating Russia in their first game, Samoa then lost to Scotland and Japan, and failed to qualify for the knockouts for the sixth consecutive RWC.
"It's been a tough one, obviously. We came out with high hopes, hoping to shock the world, and we came out short," Paulo said.
"But with the team that we've had, I know that by this time next week we'll be reminiscing about these times. It's going to take a while to get back to normal life and get back to the routine but I've enjoyed every minute of it and I'm still proud to be Samoan and to represent this country."
Beyond dreams of new contracts, however, Paulo believes that the chance of creating a good last memory with his team-mates will inspire them to challenge Ireland, who were ranked No.1 in the world before the World Cup started.
"We've been together for ten weeks now and, spending so much time together, we feel like brothers, building that emotional relationship with the boys, and it's going to be hard (to say goodbye).
"This game is going to be exciting and we'll hopefully show that emotion in the game, how we play, just give it one last go, one last game with the brothers.
"Our flights are booked to go back on Monday but we've got the opportunity to get a big win and still make everyone proud."
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