Wednesday, 19 March 2008
Manu Samoa training squad announced
Fasavalu Europa Rose Tuesday 18 March 2008
“If overseas players want to be part of the Manu Samoa squad, they will have to trial like everyone else,” he said. “And we will use the PRC match between the Upolu Samoa and the Savai’i Samoa as trial for the Manu Samoa; this will be the perfect opportunity for overseas players to trial.”
Manu Samoa Coach Tuala Niko Palamo and his management team have selected 36 local names in the training squad ahead of the Pacific Cup rugby tournament in June.
The selection of the training squad says Tuala came after the PRC (Pacific Rugby Cup) trials two weeks ago.
“These are the local players selected from the PRC trials that were held in Savai’i and Upolu,” he said.
“With this training squad we will be observing their performance in order to select our Manu Samoa team.”
Seven players from the Samoa sevens team have been included in the training squad.
“The sevens players are currently preparing for the IRB seven tournament, so that leaves us with 29 players to work with, so we will paying close attention to these players and how they perform in training,” Tuala said.
Tuala said there is no guarantee that all players will make the Manu Samoa squad.
“These players have not yet made the cut to make it into the Manu Samoa, but they can if they are committed during training,” he stressed.
Another matter discussed in the Manu Samoa press conference yesterday at the HPU unit in Alafua, were the chances of overseas based players to play for the Manu Samoa.
“If overseas players want to be part of the Manu Samoa squad, they will have to trial like everyone else,” he said.
“And we will use the PRC match between the Upolu Samoa and the Savai’i Samoa as trial for the Manu Samoa; this will be the perfect opportunity for overseas players to trial.”
“Unlike in previous years where the majority of overseas players show up a week before the Manu Samoa game, now we don’t want that because our team cannot wait for them,” Tuala said.
“So we have notified them through a letter that they should be here for the trial.”
“It will also be an opportunity for those local players that have not made the training squad, but are still in training to trial-out,” he added.
Tuala added that past achievement will not be an agenda in the selection of this year’s national team.
“There is no confirmed position; at the moment every position is on trial. If a player performed well in last year’s tournament he will not be picked on that performance,” he said.
These are the local players that have caught the attention of the Manu Samoa selectors and are scheduled to meet 3:30pm today at the HPU:
HOOKER: Lafoga Aoelua (Lepea), Taleni Toloa (SCOPA), Loleni Tafunai (Vaiala),
PROPS: Muliufi Salanoa (SCOPA), Hiroshima Tea (Vaimoso), Taliaferro Fa’alogo (Apia), Paula Lewer (Afega), Taligatuli Moala (Vaivase),
LOCKS: Ken Ulia (Afega), Tui Fitiao (Siumu), Luti Pese (Safotu),
LOSSIES: Solomona Aimaasu (Maagiagi), Nissan Aitui (SCOPA), Asiasiga Toalepaiali’i (Satapuala), Ponifasio Vasa (Marist), Maugaloto Palu (Lepea), Alafoti Faosiliva (Afega), Simaika Mikaele (Vailele), Sirovai Sila (Maagiagi),
HALF-BACKS: Uale Mai (Marist), Dominic Gabriel (Lepea), Notise Tauafao (Malie),
FLY-HALF: Roger Warren (Marist), Ki Anufe (Lepea), Lolo Lui (Moata’a)
CENTRES: Samasoni Moala (Vaivase), Reupena Levasa (Vailele), Torise Teni (Salelologa), Chris Lei Sam (Chanel),
WINGS: Aifou Fa’amausili (Malie), Joiner Key (Leulumoega), Matthew Iakopo (SCOPA),
FULL-BACKS: Mikaele Pesamino (Vailele), Fanuafou Tofi (SCOPA), Alatasi Tupou (Vaiala).