The reason behind three-time premiership winner Brian To'o not playing against the New Zealand Kiwis last weekend has been revealed.

The superstar winger's absence was largely felt last weekend as Samoa succumbed to a 50-0 loss to the New Zealand Kiwis, ending their Pacific Championships run.

Samoan coach Ben Gardiner revealed post-match that To'o was absent from the team due to his family rather than any injury concerns.

It is understood that his wife is heavily pregnant and was expected to give birth at any moment as of Saturday.

"I said to him, he has the choice, we'll keep the option open for him to return, but unfortunately that didn't happen for us," Gardiner said via Wide World of Sports.

"Brian is a player that is so experienced – he's played in some of the biggest games on the biggest arenas that you would be happy for him to return to come into our team."

"We wish him the best and we wish his wife the best – their baby is due today or potentially in the next couple of days."

Brian To'o in action at training for the Penrith Panthers. (Photo by Joshua Davis)