Samoa’s rugby clash against the Barbarians for the Killik Cup scheduled for November 27 at Twickenham will be coached by an exciting line-up of former Manu Samoa stars and a woman as Team Manager.
The Co-Coaches have been named as former first five Lemalu Tusiata Pisi, currently coaching at the Toyota Shokki in Japan, and former prop Census Johnston who is with Racing 92 in France.
The Assistant Coaches are former Manu lock Kane Thompson who coaches at NOLA Gold – USA (MLR), and former mid-fielder Terry Fanolua who previously coached at Gloucester RFC.
The Team Manager is Niuafolau Faautu Talapusi, a Samoan woman who has been around rugby all her life, and has also managed at local rugby level with her village side, BBE Vaiala Ulalei Club.
Now residing in London, Niuafolau follows in her father’s footsteps. The late Rev Dr. Faitala Talapusi was a former Manu Samoa player and captain, and long serving Manager of the Manu Samoa 15s.
Lakapi Samoa says the Manu Samoa players to be selected for the match will soon be announced.
The national side will also be revealing its new apparel sponsor, and according to a Lakapi Samoa press release, game tickets are selling fast with close to 45,000 already sold.
“Lakapi Samoa acknowledges the Barbarian Football Club and all its partners in making this very important match possible and their support is invaluable to the Union,” states Lakapi Samoa CEO Faleomavaega Vincent Fepuleai.
The Barbarian’s game is the only match to be played from the recently cancelled tour of Europe.
Lakapi Samoa says the trip north proved too difficult for the locally based management and squad of players given the ongoing border restrictions of Covid-19.
“The health and safety of everyone is being prioritized, especially upon returning home”.
Manu Samoa Head Coach, Vaovasamanaia Seilala
Mapusua says he is confident with the selected coaching group. “I am very pleased to be able to call on the services of coaches based overseas who have an intimate knowledge of the Manu Samoa environment,” said Vaovasamanaia.
“Given the nature of the Barbarians, this should prove to be a highly entertaining game and a fantastic opportunity to round off the Autumn Internationals in style.”