Samoa’s U20 squad named

By Sina Filifilia Seva’aetasi ,

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Winners: Wellington Team winner of the Friendship Shield.

Winners: Wellington Team winner of the Friendship Shield. (Photo: Samoa Rugby Union)

Samoa’s U20’s team is gearing up for an important test window.  

The team has two major events in the works:  the Oceania U20 Championship and Junior World Cup 2017.  

Preparations have been well underway as head coach and staff scoured several countries looking for the best Samoan rugby players to don the blue jersey. 

Yesterday, the Samoa Rugby Union hosted the final U20 Trials at the A.C.P Marist Stadium in Lotopa.  

This was the first time finalist from Samoa, New Zealand and Australia faced off in a round robin playing style vying for a spot on the proposed final 38 Man roster.  

The Head Coach of Samoa’s U20’s, Fa’aofonu’u Junior Leota, intensively looked on as the trials commenced and was flanked by some of Samoa’s most experienced coaches  such as Stephen Betham and Fuimaono Dickie Tafua.  

Faaofonuu told the Samoa Observer, “This I the first time its happened to get all of New Zealand, Australia and Samoa here in Samoa for the trials.” 

“I think in the planning ,we’re trying to get the best 15 from each country to come over to Samoa and compete wit these local boys.  The reason was  to get that extra competitive edge when selecting the boys.”

Once the team has been announced, the players will stay on island to train together to prepare for the upcoming Oceania U20 Championship from 28 April- 6th of May 

Samoa will join top rugby countries such as New Zealand and Australia.  

Faaofonuu shared that preparing early and fielding a team from different countries will be a plus for Samoa.  

“For me its all about preparation. 

We want to get the best possible preparation for the Junior World Cup.  Obviously, we want to go in there and win everything and try different combinations just to find out the balance in our team.”

“For us to get all the overseas here and train together is a plus. 

We get to train together, Not like before where we had on two weeks preparations and then we fly out.  But we have a decent 8 weeks before we make way to Oceania and the Junior World Cup.”

 

Front Row:

1. Leauma Uelese Leauma  - Auckland

2. Petalo Etemani Ikenasio - Auckland

3. Suetena Asomua - Auckland

4. Setu Enoka - Samoa

5. Frank Tupuola - Samoa

6. Noel Sanft - Samoa

7. Nathan Sasagi Taaga - Melbourne, Australia

8. Ivan Fepuleai - Wellington

 

Locks:

9. Jarimar Schuster - Wellington

10. Julius Togafau - Wellington

11. Peato Toeafe - Samoa

12. Theodore Filipo - Auckland

13. Benjamin Sau - Auckland

 

Loose Forwards:

14. Caleb Faalili - Auckland

15. Taina Fox Matamua - Auckland

16. Wyatt Setu - Brisbane, Australia

17. Nese Solia - Wellington

Players In action during the trials.
Players In action during the trials.

18. Francis Ah Him - Samoa

19. Paul Faalogo - Samoa

20. Shamma Solomona - Auckland

21. Gafatasi Fuimaono - Auckland

 

Half Backs:

22. Lei Ioane - Wellington

23. Godinet Tinea - Auckland

24. Pupi Ah See - Samoa

 

10’s:

25. Ethan Lolesio - Brisbane, Australia

26. Lagaali Schuster - Auckland

27. Dilon Loibl - Samoa

 

Inside Backs:

28. Tanielu Telea - Auckland

29. Tagaloa Fonoti  - Samoa

30. Daren Kellet - Auckland

31. Aneriueta Fale Piopa - Wellington

32. Hunter Paisami ** - Melbourne

(**Melbourne Rebels Player not released for trials)

 

Outside Backs:

33. Losi Filipo - Wellington

34. Alesana Pohla - Brisbane

35. Ricky Luamanuvae - Samoa

36. Simon Peter Toleafoa - Auckland

37. Sunny Pettybourne.

 

Team Management:

Head Coach:  Faaofonuu JP Leota

Assistant Coach:  Setu Tuilaepa

Manager: Ulu Maluofinao Shinn Ete

Technical Advisor: Mahonri Schwalger

Technical Advisor: Auimatati Sapani 

Trainer: Keegan Murphy

Physiotherapist:  Joshua Melrose.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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