The Marist St Joseph’s Sports Club have announced the pools for the XXXIVth Vailima Marist International 7s to be held next weekend 24th and 25th of June 2022. As in previous years the draw was live from the club rooms at Lotopa on Friday night.
Pool A sees defending champions Laulii Lions pooled with Sapapalii (Lupesiliva Crusaders), SCOPA and Vaimoso.
The Laulii Lions registered an historical first time win at last year’s Vailima Marist 7s. The Laulii side will be looking to defend the cup with several Manu Samoa 7’s players in the side.
Amongst the six local players called into the training squad last week are Laulii Lions captain Paul Eti Slater, and Laulii speedster Bright Tapeneko.
Other Laulii players on the Manu Samoa 7s squad are Ati Junior Ati and Neueli Leitufia.
Laulii will also feature their captain Laaloi Leilua was instrumental in last years final win over the Faleolo Jets. The 25 year old Leilua has 79 matches and 22 tries under his belt for Manu Samoa 7’s. Former Manu 7’s Joe Perez is another name in the Laulii side who would be looking to impress selectors.
Unlike previous years when Sir Gordon Tietjens did not allow his squad to participate in the Marist 7s, Head Coach Muliagatele Brian Lima is not only allowing his selected squad to participate in the Marist 7s, he has also sent a message that the tournament will give other players a chance to “impress coaches”.
Pool B sees Tepatasi pooled with Apia, Lulumaivini Ulutogia and St Pierre Malotau. Tepatasi will be featuring Manu Samoa 7’s players Vaafauese Apelu Maliko, Faafoi Falaniko and Iafeta Purcell on their side.
Pool C sees Moataa pooled with hosts Vailima Marist, Safotu from Savaii and SSAB Sosoese Samatau.
Marist will feature Manu Samoa 7’s Co-Captain Melani Matavao and Miracle Failagi.
Finally Pool D seems to be the pool of death for the weekend with the ecstatic Tamauli from Savaii up against Vaiala, Satalo from Falealili and Siumu. Tamauli will feature Manu Samoa 7’s Co-Captain Vaovasa Afa Su’a and Uaina Sione.
Vaiala will of course be featuring the elusive Steve Rimoni and Malo Luteru from the Manu Samoa 7s squad. There are three youngsters, under 18 years of age in the BBE Vaiala side who would be looking to play their first Marist 7s.
For the Women’s Draw, there will be a round robin between five teams. Defending champions Apia Maroons are back as well as Tepatasi, No Idea, Striders and hosts, Marist Angels.
The women’s competition goes from strength to strength each year and due to covid, the locals would be missing the challenge by visiting women’s teams from New Zealand.