Sacked coach failed, Union Chairman says

By Lanuola Tupufia – Ah Tong ,

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NOT GOOD ENOUGH: Winning the Paris Sevens with a relatively inexperienced team last year has not saved Damian McGrath (middle with trophy)  from being sacked by the Union.

NOT GOOD ENOUGH: Winning the Paris Sevens with a relatively inexperienced team last year has not saved Damian McGrath (middle with trophy) from being sacked by the Union. (Photo: Martin Seras Lima)

The sacked coach of the Manu Samoa Sevens, Damian McGrath failed in his mission to coach Samoa to the Olympics in Rio.

That’s why he received the boot from the Samoa Rugby Union (S.R.U).  

So revealed the Chairman of Union and Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi yesterday, defending the sacking now the subject of a lawsuit.

Tuilaepa said the S.R.U Board has guidelines to follow when it comes to the assessment of the coach’s performance.

 “The ultimate goal for the coach was to secure a spot in the (Rio 2016) Olympics and that did not happen so the Board thought his work was of no use anymore,” Tuilaepa said.

Tuilaepa said the decision is also to warn future coaches.

“It’s good that people are seeing this so that they know when one fails they get terminated rather than keeping them on when they are not succeeding.

“Once they do not achieve the goals set for them, the axe falls on them.”

Asked about the hunt for the new coach, Tuilaepa said there are “professors” dealing with the applicants. He declined to name the applicants except to say that the panel will make a recommendation to the Board.

The Manu Samoa Sevens need a coach urgently with the start of the World Rugby Sevens Series fast approaching. 

This week, it emerged that McGrath has applied for the vacant Fiji Sevens job. Attempts to contact him for a comment were not successful.

Tuilaepa’s comments confirms the stance taken by the Chief Executive Officer of the Union, Faleomavaega Vincent Fepulea’i. He said the decision to let go of McGrath and his management followed a review undertaken by an independent panel.

The outcome of the review based on the team’s performance was a major factor when the Board made the decision.

Faleomavaega insisted the decision was strictly based on results. He explained that for every coach, there is a process to follow at the end of every season. That process involves a review that considers results.

The same process was applied to McGrath.

Asked if the Union has not learnt anything from over the years where they have sacked many Sevens coaches, Faleomavaega said results matter and that’s what decisions are based upon.

He added the review also recommended for the Union to do away with the Assistant coach role, which had been occupied by Muliagatele Brian Lima.

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