The Manu Samoa 7s have landed safely in LA, and while still in the transit area of LAX, they crossed travelling paths with Samoa’s Minister of Communication and Information Technology, Hon Toelupe Poumulinuku Onesemo and CEO Lefaoalii Unutoa Auelua-Fonoti.
The Minister and his CEO were on route to the Ministerial Alliance for Digital Nations Conference, hosted by the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation in London.
The MCIT Minister and CEO had travelled to Los Angeles from Australia while the Manu Samoa 7’s were arriving into LA from Auckland.
The management and players received words of encouragement from the Minister ahead of the Los Angeles and Vancouver legs of the HSBC World Series.
Head Coach Muliagatele Brian Limā said the tapuaiga and blessings from the people of Samoa and its leaders is an important part of the team’s preparations and crossing paths with the Minister was a nice surprise for the team.
“Thank you to Honorable Minister Toelupe and also to his CEO le afioga Lefaoalii Unutoa for the encouragement for our team especially the boys.”
MCIT CEO Lefaoalii Unutoa Auelua-Fonoti has two nephews on the squad and the pleasant surprise gave her the chance to offer her blessing and wish them both well.
The Manu Samoa 7s Management and 14-man squad left Samoa on Wednesday 15th February and spent three days in a training camp in Auckland’s Papatoetoe.
The MS7s departed Auckland on Saturday night. They have arrived a full six days ahead of this weekends LA 7s to be played Sat 25th – Sun 26th February 2023.
The Samoan community in Los Angeles lead by Pastors from different denominations in LA held a traditional welcoming ava ceremony for the Manu Samoa 7s upon their arrival.
The community group of diaspora have been fundraising for the team since last year’s LA 7s and will be hosting a post tournament event for the team before they depart for Canada.
Manu Samoa 7s will play three pool games on Saturday in the US, Sunday in Samoa. (Samoa times below).
Manu Samoa 🇼🇸 vs USA 🇺🇸 6:59am
Manu Samoa 🇼🇸 vs Chile 🇨🇱 10:12am
Manu Samoa 🇼🇸 vs New Zealand 🇳🇿 1:30pm