Making touch World Cup squad “something I’ve been longing for”

Elizabeth Timoteo (20) of Fasitoo-uta has only been playing touch for two years, but was recently named in Samoa’s open women’s squad for the World Cup in May.

Timoteo said she is grateful to be picked in a national team for the first time.

“It will be an honour to represent the country, something I’ve been longing for.”

She’s looking forward to going to World Cup Cup in Malaysia, somewhere she has never been.

“It’s going to be a big challenge for me, but I always look help to the helper, provider and saviour of all, where my strength comes from to face it.”

She said her family are her motivation and number one supporters.

Tomato first played for Nofoali’i Swifters, before being recruited by fellow squad member Filoi Eneliko to play for No Idea Touch Rugby Club.

“She has helped me so much.”

Two other young girls from No Idea Uanita Vaaga and Emele Paletasala will also make their national team debuts at the World Cup.

Timoteo said it makes it easier coming up in the sport together with those girls.

“I’m glad to be doing it with my two best friends Uanita and Emele.

“We’re slowly catching up to the others.”

Initially starting on the wing for the Swifters, Timoteo moved to the link position at No Idea.

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National team coach Geoff Hooper has put her at middle for the upcoming campaign.

“The middles are the ones controlling the game, leading the others,” said Timoteo.

She said that’s been an adjustment as the second youngest player in the team.

“[Coach Hooper] has been teaching us this new style of touch, that i’ve never heard of from coaches here in Samoa.”

Timoteo said the team are getting used to it, and it will be worth it in the long run.

Hooper is based in Australia, and was over for a training camp with the squad last week.

He has left the players with a 12 week training programme to work on themselves before another camp in Samoa just prior to the World Cup.

Timoteo said while they all learn a lot from Hooper, the team will be fine in his absence

“The older girls in the team are used to taking responsibility for the trainings.”

She has done well to make the squad after injuring her knew at the Marist Rugby tournament last year.

“That couldn’t stop me from working hard on myself to be better,” said Timoteo.

Now she only plays touch.

“Touch is better because it encourages socialising, it’s a great way of getting people involved,” she said.

“It’s fun and people are friendly, they ensure anyone who is new to touch feels welcome, and anyone can play.”

Timoteo hopes all of Samoa get behind the team at the World Cup

“I can’t wait to get out there and do one of the things I most love doing in life.”

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