The mystery of who will become the next Manu Samoa coach remains unresolved. But that might change by the end of the week as the Samoa Rugby Union (S.R.U) moves to finalise the appointment.
The position has been vacant since Namulauulu Alama Ieremia quit last month following an S.R.U-sanctioned review, which recommended that his services be terminated.
But with the Rugby World Cup qualification approaching fast, the Union does not have a lot of time.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Samoa Rugby Union, Faleomavaega Patrick Fepulea’i knows this.
Contacted for a comment, Faleomavaega said the selection process was underway and that an appointment will be made soon.
“We are going through the process of interviewing the candidates that have applied for the Manu Samoa Head Coach position,” he said. “The Samoa Rugby Union has been busy lately with the process.”
The Union held its A.G.M two weeks where the role was discussed.
Faleomavaega was reluctant to discuss details about who have applied and whom is likely to get the nod.
“Things like that are really sensitive issues,” he said.
“If we release this information, it means we don’t have respect for the applicants. A perfect example is that if you’re a Samoa Observer reporter and now you’re applying for a job at Newsline, you don’t want anyone in Samoa Observer to find out that you applying for Newsline.
“That’s how sensitive this kind of issue is and that’s why I can’t release any information regarding this matter at this stage.”
Faleomavaega said an independent panel is making the appointment. World Rugby is also involved. When an appointment is made, part of the process includes the negotiations with the successful candidate and whether he/she accepts the conditions.
Several reports on social media say a number of local coaches have thrown their names in the hat including former Coach, Fuimaono Titimaea Tafua.
Contacted for a comment last week, Fuimaono declined.
With the 2019 Rugby World Cup around the corner, the appointment is a matter of urgency as the Manu Samoa now needs to reset to ensure it grabs the absolute last opportunity it has to make the trip to Japan.