Two teams will face off at Apia Park today as players fight to earn a spot on the Samoa A team.
Ramsey Tomokino, the team manager, along with the rest of the management team will be selecting players from two very skilled and talented teams.
From this trial, 26 players and the management will be selected for Samoa A and travel to Uruguay for the Americas Pacific Challenge.
Not only will the players be vying for a spot on the team but the coaches will go through selection as well. Namulauulu Alama Ieremia, the Director of Coaching, has been working to develop local coaches and managers.
According to Tomokino, the coaches will be determined after the trial. The coaches have been training with Alama and are now allocated to the trial teams to come up with game plans.
The team selected for Samoa A will participate in the Americas Pacific Challenge, supported by World Rugby, in Montevideo this October alongside Argentina XV, Canada A, Fiji Warriors, and Uruguay A . There are two pools in which Samoa A is pooled with USA Selects and Argentina.
A few prominent Manu Samoa incumbents like Patrick Faapale, Talaga Alofipo, Danny Tusitala, Oneone Faafou and Malu Falaniko will be on the pitch alongside talented players from the Under 20’s team such as Mikaele Tapili, Joseph Fuimaono, and Laaloi Leilua.
According to Tomokino, “The tournament in Uruguay is a little bit different. There are two pools but you don’t play anyone in your pool. Samoa is pooled with USA and Argentina but will play Canada A, Uruguay A and Fiji A in a cross over pool. There’s no final, it’s the team that scores the most points and at the end will win it. So you’ve got to win your games and score as many points as possible.”
Tomokino revealed a bit of their strategy for the Americas Pacific Challenge stating, “We want to run and score tries. If you aim to score tries, you’re more likely to win the game. We’ve just got to score lots of tries and outscore the opposition. So we’ve got to have that in mind when we select the team and we need guys that can play a running game and wingers that can finish.”
Kick-off is at 9:30am at Apia Park and the 26 man roster will be released by Sunday evening .
Immediately following the match, there will be an Under 16’s game at 1pm and the Samoa Schools vs Australia Schools at 3:00pm.