From Savai’i to bright lights of Las Vegas
From the rural planes of Salelologa and Sale’aula, Savai’i to travelling the world with the Manu Samoa Sevens to Las Vegas, it’s hard for Elisapeta Alofipo to hide his excitement.
The find of the 29th Vailima Marist Sevens for coach Sir Gordon Tietjens is the 14-man roster heading to the next leg of the H.S.B.C World Seven Series in Las Vegas. After that, Vancouver Canada is their next destination.
Speaking to the Weekend Observer, the shy rugby sensation said he is ecstatic to represent his country for the first time.
“I’m humbled by the opportunity and I’m looking forward to giving it my all,” he said.
Alofipo is one of two new names added to the list.
His appearance on the roster is both exciting and intriguing.
He first caught the watchful eye of Sir Gordon Tietjens last weekend.
“The tournament for me is really important because a lot of the players are playing for spots on the team,” Tietjens said.
“It’s also an opportunity for me to see other players that I haven’t seen on the island and for them to really step up.”
Alofipo was one of them. He played a starring role for Salelologa where he carried the team into the bowl finals and defeated Sasa’ai.
And if his performance on the pitch wasn’t enough to turn heads, Alofipo was further thrusted into the spotlight after being named as the Most Valuable Player of the Tournament.
A few days later, Alofipo was seen on the pitch at Apia Park for the final trial before the official Manu Samoa Sevens team was named.
On the field, Alofipo strutted his skill on the wing.
And by the looks of his skill level, no one would’ve guessed that he just joined the ranks.
Onlookers were in awe about what the young man produced on the pitch.
One high ranking Samoa Rugby Union official even pointed him out as one to look out for.
Finally, on Thursday, Alofipo was seen anxiously but excitedly taking his rightful place next to his brothers in blue.
Alofipo and the Manu Samoa Sevens team on the pitch at Sam Boyd Stadium next weekend where they will take on U.S.A, Chile and England.