A Te Atatu Roosters junior in the Auckland Rugby League competitions, Panapa played club football in Britain for Wigan. He represented Tokelau at the 1986 Pacific Cup, 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.
After the 1993–94 Rugby Football League season Panapa travelled with defending champions Wigan to Brisbane, playing on at centre in their 1994 World Club Challenge victory over Australian premiers, the Brisbane Broncos.
He played for Samoa at the 1995 Rugby League World Cup.
Read more about this topic: Sam Panapa
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