Manu Samoa sevens Head Coach, Sir Gordon Tietjens, has named his final squad for the opening round of the HSBC 7S World Series in Dubai and Cape Town.
A member of the Manu Samoa 7s back in 2007 that claimed a victorious win over Fiji in Wellington 7s, Alatasi Tupou, has been appointed to lead the team.
Speaking at an event to launch their campaign last night, Sir Gordon Tietjens said it wasn’t easy to choose the team.
“It was a huge challenge,” he said. “You’ve got 22 contracted players and to pick 14 players to tour was always going to be tough.
“Some players obviously are disappointed on missing out but also for some other players are very happy they have made it.”
Three new players have made the cut this time after crucial trial performances during the Silicon Valley 7s in California and Oceania 7s in Fiji earlier this month.
Jacob Muriaina Whitaker and Darren Anthony Kellet playing Rugby in New Zealand are among the new boys joining the team with Murphy Pocetta Paulo playing here in Samoa.
The team also features Manu Samoa Sevens veterans Fautua Otto, Tom Iosefo and Falemiga Selesele.
Sir Tietjens also emphasized on the contribution of the Silicon Valley 7s and Oceania tournament in selecting his squad.
“Those two previous tournaments brought a lot of considerations on how they performed in both of those tournaments making the final squad.”
The coach added that he is confident of his final team.
“I can assure you we are taking a fit side and the best team that we can put on the park at the moment,” he said.
He concluded that he will not promise anything but the Manu Samoa Sevens programme is on the right path.
Manu Samoa 7s Dubai & Cape Town 2017/2018
Alatasi Tupou (c)