The Manu Samoa 7’s squad for the next two legs of the HSBC World 7s Series has been announced.
Muliagatele Brian Lima’s all-local squad continues to feature debutants in every leg of the world series and on this occasion, it is APTC graduate Fuli Faafouina Fuli from Saoluafata.
The 22 year old forward plays his rugby with Vaiala Ulalei and has featured in the local Vodafone Samoa 7s Series.
Returning to the squad is the elusive side-stepping Malo Luteru, replacing the still injured Steve Rimoni Onosai.
BJ Telefoni Lima also retains his position in the forwards after his try-scoring debut in Sydney. BJ is a part-time sports reporter for Samoa Global News who has recently completed a Bachelor of Business at Waikato University where he played for Fraser Tech while in Hamilton.
The captaincy will once again be shared between Melani Matavao, Vaovasa Afa-Su’a and the HSBC World Series leading try scorer, Vaafauese Apelu-Maliko.
Vaovasa Afa-Su’a has recovered from a chest injury sustained in Sydney, as well as Faafoi Falaniko – the 21 year old who kicked Samoa into Series Champs in Cape Town.
Neueli Leitufia and Motu Opetai have both satisfied the three match bans issued after a dump tackle on Australian Stu Dunbar.
The backline is further strengthened by Paul Scanlan and Paul Eti Slater, and the elusive wingers – Owen Niue and Tuna Tuitama are back.
Power forward Uaina Sione is out for the rest of the season and now recovering from knee reconstructive surgery for a ruptured ACL. The Management say Uaina should be back for next season.
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