PPS naming sponsors for 2019 Super 9

The Samoa Rugby Union yesterday confirmed Petroleum Products Supplies (PPS) as the naming rights sponsor for 2019’s Super 9 Rugby Championship.

Samoa Rugby Union chairman Tuilaepa Dr. Sailele Malielegaoi and PPS managing director Fanene Etuale Sefo officially signed the naming rights sponsorship agreement, which is worth $350,000 tala at the Prime Minister’s office yesterday.

SRU chief executive officer Faleomavaega Vincent Fepulea’i said the financial support from PPS will help ensure the standards of the Super 9 tournament are high.

He said the funding will help cover the costs of putting on match days; including transport, match officials, field hireage, uniforms

“We try to look at ways of how we can improve it all the time.”

Faleomavaega said the tournament needs to operate at the level you would expect from any international competition, in order for Super 9 to meet its main objective:

“To make sure in the future there will be more Manu Samoa players coming out of this competition to represent us, instead of us having to keep relying on overseas players to represent Samoa.”

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Samoa Rugby Union essentially pay for everything around the competition, and Faleomavaega said it is down to the nine franchises themselves to secure funding to pay their players.

“I believe a lot of franchises are paying allowances on a weekly basis to their players, which is really encouraging.”

He said SRU have done workshops and training with the franchises on how they can attain that funding, as well as cut costs in certain areas.

Faleomavaega also said while he can’t speak for Manu Samoa coach Vaeluagaomatagi Steve Jackson as to who will make up his squad of 31 for the Rugby World Cup in September, he knows Vaeluagaomatagi is keeping an open mind to selecting local-based players.

“There are no guarantees for anybody that thinks just because he plays overseas, doesn’t make him first choice.

“Just comes down to who has prepared well and put in the hard work, who’s going to be selected for Manu Samoa, doesn’t matter where he plays.”

Vaeluagaomatagi is travelling to Fiji with the Samoa A side on Sunday for their World Rugby Pacific Challenge Campaign.

He will be working with the team as an assistant coach, and will keep an eye on those local Samoa A players as they return to the island for the Super 9 competition.

The PPS Super 9 tournament will officially launch on Friday 22nd March 2019 and kick off the following week on Saturday 30th March 2019.

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