Manu Samoa

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Tuesday, 18 March 2008

New Manu Samoa Coach


On behalf of the SRU Board, I am pleased to announce the appointment of the first full time Head Coach of the Manu Samoa rugby team today. We believe that the appointment that we have concluded today is the best and most relevant to the goals that we have set for the development of the Manu Samoa.

The Union has undertaken the process to identify a new Head Coach for the Manu Samoa after the resignation of Laauli Michael Jones at the 2007 Rugby World Cup. The Union has endeavoured to ensure the process to appoint a new coach has been transparent, objective and thorough and performed in an open competitive nature.


During this process it was identified that the depth of the applicants was stronger than at any time I the past and is a response to the fact that coaches have been actively seeking to improve their coaching skills and qualifications.

The Union has taken into account the lessons learnt from the 2007 RWC. The full time appointment is based in Samoa and will be subject to annual review and a 2 + 2 year contract.

In making the appointment it is recognised that the professional age has changed the mentality of players and has made dealing with them a much more challenging process. It has also extended the role of the Head Coach so that his management skills are now very important.

The position was extensively advertised. The processes adopted was best practice in recruitment of coaches by other major Rugby Unions in that they were complete, objective and transparent. The consisted of 3 stages:

• Culling of applicants to arrive at a shortlist for interviews
• Interview process (with a technical panel strengthen by independent rugby administrators).
• Final consideration of personal qualities important to the position.

The final decision was not easy because of the closeness of the candidates. Only one could be appointed but we hope that the pool of competent candidates will be utilized in the development of Samoa Rugby.

The successful candidate is Tuala Lepale Niko Palamo and the qualities that enabled him to be the first choice included:
• He had demonstrated the record of leadership and management in and outside rugby. This is a correlation of his role as CEO and Secretary General at SASNOC including his strong involvement in the South Pacific Games.
• Coached the u19s team that won the U19s RWC B Pool and was promoted to the A pool. Niko time the team performance to top results.
• He achieved success as Head Coach of the Samoa National 7s team.
• His coaching of the U19’s elite team gives him a very good position in the identification of up and coming talent to the Manu Samoa.

The Union has been able to make this appointment on the progress made by the most recent management team, and in this regard we would like to take this opportunity to thank Laauli Michael Jones and his management team for the hard work and commitment that they have demonstrated over the past 4 years.

On behalf of the Samoa Rugby Union, I congratulate and wish Tuala Lepale Niko Palamo the best wishes as Manu Samoa Head Coach. The Union will now work very closed with Tuala Lepale Niko Palamo to finalise the rest of the Manu Samoa management team.

Hon. Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi
SRU Chairman

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