Rugby League Samoa yet to name Pacific Games squad

Rugby League Samoa (RLS) is yet to name their Pacific Games squad following the completion of their Fantastic Four 9s Series with Marist Sports Club last weekend.

RLS has selected four elite teams from the pool of players that participated in the Super 9s competition last year, who competed in this tournament – each with naming rights that include Tanoa Samoa, Matniuel, G-Mana and Pacific Ezy – against teams from Queensland, Mu’a Saints from Tonga.

In January RLS president, Tagaloa Fa’afouina Su’a, said all the Samoan players that are competing in the Marist 9s Rugby League Tournament are eligible for selection to Samoa’s national team in this year’s Pacific Games as well as the World 9s later this year.

“This is really good so we can also unearth some of the players from Queensland, that will be eligible to play and make the final team for the Pacific Games this year,” he said.

And according to Tournament director, Laulu Lafao Leauanae, they already have a few names in mind for the rugby league squad.

“We do have some names – the outstanding players from today and also we look at other areas – that aren’t covered by the coverage.

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“TV3 recorded everything for us and most of us who are doing the tournament today, so hopefully next week we’ll look at all the footage,” he said.

When asked about how many will be able to make the team, he said: “Hopefully most of the locals and also those who are from Queensland and some that are not here but also played in the tournament the last three weeks so we are excited to see who make it.”

The Australian High Commissioner to Samoa, Sara Moriarty, said she was impressed with the level of competition put up by the locals against the overseas teams.

“Great to see that there’s a bit of interest in the league. I know the union is more popular here but it’s really great competition run by Marist, and hopefully they do it again next year and do it even bigger and better the next year,” she said. 

RLS is looking forward to hosting another tournament in the near future before the Pacific Games in July, according to Laulu.

“We are planning to have another tournament because July is a little bit far, so we don’t want to rest, because the more tournaments the tougher and the better of the boys.”

Unasa Tauheia Levaai, who was the team manager at the Tanoa Samoa Manono, said it was a great platform for the boys to showcase their skills and talents – while being given the chance to be eligible for the Pacific Games squad.

“I want to thank the Marist Sports Club for putting up this great event working together with Rugby League Samoa, I know this is one of the first events for the pacific games and this is a good platform for our national team,” he said.

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