Now that the National Tens Series is done and dusted, the real trials begin.
On Saturday, trials kicked off for the Brisbane Global Ten’s at Apia Park.
The trials saw over 60 participants who were hand selected for their performance during the National Ten’s Series that the Samoa Rugby Union hosted last month.
Trialist were split into four teams and participated in a round-robin tournament amongst one another as assessors looked on eagerly.
One imperative figure standing sideline at the trials was Head Coach of the Manu Samoa Namulauulu Alama Ieremia. He spoke to the Samoa Observer about the talent he’s seen at the trials and the future for Samoa in the Ten’s arena.
“The local coaches have basically streamlined all the different positions and put them into four teams of equal quality. The main thing is to have equal quality amongst the four sides and then they play each other. It’s Basically survival of the fittest” he stated.
Because Namulauulu has been away for international duties, the momentous task of putting together the Ten’s team have been left to local coaches like Potu Leavasa. Not only will this be a learning curve for the players but also for the local coaches who continue to develop their coaching skills for benefit of the players.
Samoa will be going up against international rugby heavyweights: Toulon, the Blue Bulls and Panasonic Wild Knights in Brisbane. Although, initially reported that the team will be made up of entirely local players, Namulauulu is open to calling in international players to ensure the best chances for Samoa to come away victorious in the first ever Global Ten’s tournament.
He stated, “The local talent on shore is great and there’s a tournament that been here a month or so and we’ve got to make sure we reward those who’ve done really well. The whole process is we’re hoping to make it local players.
And like anything, you’ve got to look at the positions you’re in need of. If the case be, that you need them for overseas then you’ve to have a look at it. You’ve got to be very careful that this is an international tournament with international world class players. We need to make sure we’ve given our best chance to play our best players whether their local or international.”
He also stressed the importance of fitness. Come February 11th, the men need to be in tip top shape in order for them to have a successful campaign against world class international players.
“The key is that fitness is going to be very important at the start of the year. One of the key criteria’s for this team is fitness levels and make sure we have that in place by tournament time,” he stated.
After deliberation and assessment, the Samoa Rugby Union will announce the training squad for Brisbane Global Ten’s this week.