Sevens team top secret

By Sina Sevaaetasi ,

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Coach Tietjens and Betham with the team at the trials on Tuesday.

Coach Tietjens and Betham with the team at the trials on Tuesday. (Photo: Sarafina Sanerivi)

The Manu Samoa Sevens coaching staff is keeping the list of the team to represent Samoa in Dubai and South Africa a closely guarded secret.

Although the team was expected to be announced yesterday, the Samoa Rugby Union has decided to withhold the names for an official announcement tomorrow.

 The Chairman of the Samoa Rugby Union and Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi will officially announce the team during a special send off at Tuana’imato.

Yesterday, head coach Sir Gordon Tietjens wasn’t giving away much about the team he and his assistant, Stephen Betham, have selected.

Asked to name players whom he thought have been outstanding during training, Tietjens said he couldn’t. He said he is a coach who is more concerned with the “we” than individual players.

Team selections are not about individuals, he said.

Rather they are about a group of players who can get the job done.

“One of my favourite sayings is to empty the tank,” he said. “I’m looking for players who empty the tank in everything that they do. 

“I’m mindful that with these tournaments, some of the players might get injured in the first game and that’s where you need all your players to step up. That’s why it’s important everyone in the team is of the same mindset.”

Tietjens is likely to name Falemiga Selesele as the captain. 

Asked if there was Uale Mai in the team that he has seen so far, he said yes. But that will take time to develop.

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