The Manu Samoa Sevens team for the Wellington and Sydney legs of the World Rugby Sevens Series was named yesterday.
And coach Damian McGrath has opted to stick with new faces as he looks to rebuild the Sevens programme.
Tain Lam from Auckland is among the new faces in a team that also sees the return of Tom Iosefo and Samoa Toloa.
During a farewell hosted yesterday, Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi encouraged the team to do their best for Samoa.
He reminded them to do the basics right. This includes simple things like being aware of the clock.
“We should’ve won our game against New Zealand,” he said referring to a recent tournament where Samoa lost in the semifinals. “The time was up but instead of kicking the ball out, you kicked it inside and that gave New Zealand the chance to have the last try.
“So please note the time. use your brains, don’t leave your brains in your room but take it with you on the field.”
Tuilaepa, who is also the Chairman of the Samoa Rugby Union, spoke about the importance of possession as well as concentration.
“We were ranked 15th but now we are in 11th place but we can do better,” he said.
Tuilaepa said the team should target 5th place in the rankings or better.
“I’m glad to see that a lot of you who are in the team are tall and muscular but we will see whether you are fit on the field,” he said.
The Prime Minister said they have a tendency to freeze against New Zealand, which is something that shouldn’t happen.
“Let me remind you that the New Zealand players have the same blood as you, it’s red and they have the same bones as you.
“The only difference is the hearts. If we are not scared, we can win against them but if we are scared then no matter how much we try to win, we will never reach the standard we were in before.”
1. Tomasi Alosio – Hutt Old Boys, Marist Wellington – Levi Saleimoa, Falefa
2. Fa’alemiga Selesele – Moata’a – Satupa’itea, Salelologa
3. Jack Saena – Moata’a – Malaela
4. Samoa Toloa – Sa’asa’ai, Vailele – Mulifanua, Sato’alepai
5. Danny Tusitala – Ponsonby – Elise Fou
6. Phoenix Hunapo – Waitemata – Uafato, Fagaloa
7. Tom Iosefo – Tepatasi – Lotopu’e, Aleipata
8. Tila Mealoi – Apia – Lalomanu
9. Belgium Tuatagaloa – Hutt Old Boys, Wellington – Samatau
10. Siaosi Afolau – Vaiala – Siumu
11. Alefosio Tapili – Marist Rugby Club – Leulumoega
12. Tain Lam – Suburbs, Auckland – Alafua
• Coach – Damian McGrath
• Assistant Coach – Muliagatele Brian Lima
• Trainer – Luke Stephenson
• Team Manager – Tupuola Masunu Tuisila
• Video Analyst – Junior Narayan