Let’s give changes at the Rugby Union a chance

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Mata'afa Keni Lesa

And so the Manu Samoa has new Coach. 

Last week, the Samoa Rugby Union (S.R.U.) announced the appointment of Steve Jackson as the man to take the national team to the Rugby World Cup in Japan next year, barring a disaster of epic proportion of course.

Given the recent history of the Union’s revolving door when it comes to coaches, don’t hold your breath. 

Now, in announcing the decision last week, it confirmed what many fans did not want. That is they wanted veteran Fuimaono Titimaea Tafua to continue as the coach. 

As we’ve said before, we feel for Fuimaono. To have to witness what has transpired in the past few weeks must be heartbreaking and demoralizing. Having been called upon by your country in a desperate last attempt to reach the World Cup, you drop everything to give it your all. You get the job done and only to be dumped in such a humiliating manner. It’s sad.

Alas, it is what it is. We can say all we want to say but it will not change anything. The financial situation at the Samoa Rugby Union is critical. Even Prime Minister Tuilaepa, who is the Chairman, has unashamedly admitted that it’s either the World Rugby way or the highway. Wow. 

With that, Jackson has joined the Samoan rugby fraternity.

“With Rugby World Cup less than 11 months away, S.R.U. unyieldingly revisited its recent past decisions to ensure we got the right Leader and the coaching prowess to take our Manu Samoa to the pinnacle of Rugby Events that happens every four years,” Faleomavaega said in announcing the decision.

“Steve has emerged from a highly competitive process, as the preferred choice for Samoa Rugby. Steve is undeniably well aware of the high expectations of a country that desperately want results, and as a Coach, he understands the challenges as he will quickly need to rebuild support for the team.”

And what do we know about Jackson? Well not an awful lot apart from the fact he is currently the Assistant Coach at the Auckland Blues. 

Yeah, the Blues of all teams too. Oh dear…

“I know full well it comes with great responsibility,” said Jackson. “We will work hard and determined to gain the respect of the rugby world at R.W.C. and confident we have the talent, the skills and the passion in the players to deliver this for us at R.W.C.19.”

Well we hope so. It’s definitely not going to be an easy task but let’s give the change a chance and hope that it transforms our recent misfortunes. 

We hardly have to tell you. In the proud history of this rugby mad country, Samoa is probably at its lowest ebb in terms of results. We desperately need these results to be better. 

Something has to change.  

Speaking of changes, we also note from the front page of the newspaper you are reading that Namulauulu Sami Leota has become the new President of the Samoa Rugby Union (S.R.U.). 

He is among a revised leadership group in the Union with the Board comprising of Afamasaga Rico Tupa’i; Tuala Siaki Tuala, Tuiloma Sina Retzlaff, Fa’alogo Kapeli Fa’alogo, Fata Pito Malifa, Seumanu Douglas Ngau Chun and Fuimapoao Beth Onesome-Tuilaepa.

 “I do not take this lightly as I know that this position comes with responsibilities and expectations. I will do my best as I am acutely aware of the illustrious profiles of past S.R.U. Presidents,”Namulauulu said.

“I am looking forward to the challenges ahead as well as working together with all the S.R.U. stakeholders and partners in order to serve the best interest of the S.R.U.” 

Well said, Mr. President. We take this opportunity to welcome and congratulate coach Jackson, the new Board members and the President. This is a tough time but it’s also an exciting time. At this point of time, fans and supporters don’t want too much talk. All they want are results. Winning results. 

Let’s hope they can deliver.

Have a wonderful week Samoa, God bless!

© Samoa Observer 2016

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