Sir Gordon Tietchens has named his Manu Samoa Sevens squad for the upcoming LA-Canada legs of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens.
Sir Gordon maintains the team he took to the Hamilton-Sydney legs with the exception of one change to replace injured Tuna Tuitama.
Following a successful Marist Sevens Melani Matavao of the Vaiala Rugby Club makes his return to the national side. He is the only call-in by SGT after two days of quality display of talent at the Vailima Marist International Sevens.
Philip Luki maintains his spot having replaced Alamanda Motuga who was injured in Hamilton.
Posted on the Manu Sevens facebook page:
*PLAYERS In no particular order;
1) Tofatuimoana Solia – Satalo RC
2) Va’afauese A Maliko – Tepatasi RC
3) Phillip Luki – Vaimoso RC
4) Uaina Sione – Tama Uli Salelologa RC
5) David Afamasaga – Marist AKLD RC
6) Paulo Scanlan – Moata’a RC
7) Tomasi Alosio (C) Hutt Old Boys Marist
8) Melani Matavao – Vaiala RC
9) Elisapeta Alofipo – Tama Uli Salelologa RC
10) Joe Perez – Marist RC
11) John Vaili – Moata’a RC
12 ) Losi Filipo – Norths RC/Wellington Lions
13) Laaloi Leilua – Lauli’i Lions RC
Coach – Sir Gordon Tietjens
Team Manager – Peter Poulos
Physio – Nathen Foulagi
Trainer – Keith Roberts
Analyst – Ian Tuputala
*Unavailable due to injury🤕;
– Tuna Tuitama
– Alamanda Motuga
Manu Samoa Sevens finished 15th in both Hamilton and again in Sydney, and are currently 13th place on the HSBC table ahead of Japan, Spain and Wales.
The tournament has changed dramatically since it became an Olympic sport with countries commiting higher investment of resources to their teams.
The Samoa Sevens squad is one of the least experienced sides in the HSBC World Sevens Series with a combined number of outings amongst players of 180. Only Wales 165, Japan 112 and Ireland at 65 have less experienced squads than Samoa.
The most experienced sides are England 430, USA 428, Canada 419, New Zealand 403 and South Africa 400.
Responding to questions from Samoa Global News Samoa Sevens Manager says the game as well as teams have evolved immensely both on and off the field.
“Yes Samoa is one of the least experienced sides in the tournament, and that is very similar to the situation last season;
“We do manage to punch above our weight may times, given the resources on and off the field.”
Manu Sevens is set for another tough pool in Los Angeles with host nation USA, Australia and Scotland in Pool C.
USA finished 3rd in Sydney after beating England in the bronze medal match. Australia finished 6th on their home turf after going down to New Zealand in the 5th place final (that used to be known as the Plate).
The Manu Samoa squad arrived home safely last night from Sydney. Team manager Peter Poulos said clearance assessments were organised ahead of time allowing players and management to depart for Samoa equipped with the 3-day medical certification.
“We did not run into any problems or hold ups returning from Australia as I made sure all our management and players were screened several days before departure”.
HSBC World Sevens Series Squad Lists showing career totals: