The Manu Samoa 7’s management and players on Wednesday paid a courtesy visit to former Head of State, Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Taisi Efi at his Tuaefu residence.
Tui Atua conveyed his gratitude to the team and thanked them for their achievements so far in the HSBC World Sevens Series.
“He gave his blessing to the team for the remaining tournaments of the season,” said Head Coach Muliagatele.
“The players were blessed to receive words of encouragement from Tui Atua who has been a long time supporter of rugby in Samoa.”
A prayer service was conducted by the Methodist faifeau of the Tuaefu parish, which is located on Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese’s Tuaefu compound.
The Manu Samoa 7’s have just completed three of the eleven tournaments that make up the 2022/23 season of the HSBC World 7s Series.
After three tournaments and having won the last leg in Cape Town South Africa, Samoa is currently on top of the series table with South Africa and New Zealand a close 2nd and 3rd place behind.
Legs are held in back-to-back pairs of tournaments with the next two being the two-day Hamilton 7s (21-22 Jan) and the three-day Sydney 7s (27-29 Jan).
The season’s circuit usually consists of 10 tournaments however, this season is an exceptional 11 because Hong Kong are hosting two legs.
The venues are held across 10 countries, and visits five of the six continents. United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong and South Africa were the first three.
After the New Zealand and Australia legs held this month, the remaining six tournaments will be:
Los Angeles (25-26 Feb) and Vancouver (03-05 March)
Hong Kong (31 Mar – 02 April) and Singapore (8-9 April)
Toulouse (12-14 May) and London (20-21 May).
The team with the highest points at the end of all 11 tournaments this season will be crowned overall Champions of the World.
Winning the Cape Town tournament broke a six-year drought for the Manu Samoa 7s, who had last won a leg in France in 2016 when the side was coached by Damien McGrath with Muliagatele Brian Lima as his Assistant.
Manu Samoa 7s won the World Series in 2010 when the team was coached by Masoe Stephen Betham with Tausa Faamaoni Lalomilo as his Assistant.
Since the World 7s Series started in 1999-2000 New Zealand had originally dominated the series, winning each of the first six seasons from 1999–2000 to 2004–05. However since then, Fiji, South Africa, Samoa and Australia have each won season titles.
England and the United States have placed in the top three for several seasons but have not won the series title.
The International Olympic Committee’s decision in 2009 to add Rugby 7s to the Summer Olympics beginning in 2016 added a boost to rugby sevens and to the World Sevens Series.
This boost completely changed the landscape of the competition as it also led to increased revenues being poured into teams by their respective countries. Samoa has since had to compete with several core teams now fielding fully professional squads.