Samoa gears up for Oceania Sevens
The Samoa U-18 Sevens team preparations for the Oceania U18 Sevens Championship 2018 are underway.
The tournament will be held in Sydney, Australia on 21-22 April, 2018.
Following a successful Secondary Schools Rugby Sevens Champions two weeks ago, 22 players have been selected for the Samoa U-18 Sevens wider training squad.
Adding even more fun to this year’s competition is the Qualification Tournament for the 2018 Summer Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in October 2018.
Samoa Under-18 team is coached by La’auli Rudy Leavasa and assisted by Reverend Onosa’i So’o. The duo were part of the U18 boys team that won gold at the Youth Commonwealth Games in the Bahamas last year.
Coach La’auli says his team only has seven weeks to prepare for this tournament.
He stated his team needs to be a lot fitter to be able to compete in this sort of competition.
“We only have seven weeks to prepare physically, mentally and try work on the combinations with the players because they have different backgrounds and secondary schools that they come from.”
“So far we are still working on our fitness side of the game. We’re trying to get the boys even fitter than they are, making sure we are timing the entire yard they are running.”
La’auli also stated that from the 22 players selected in the wider training squad, only 12 will get to travel and represent Samoa.
“By next week we will be having trials to select our 16 players before we select our final 12 man squad from there.”
Samoa Under-18 sevens team will compete with teams from Australia, Cook Islands, Fiji, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Tonga.
This competition will determine the Oceania team that will qualify to compete at the 2018 Summer Youth Olympic Games.
The Samoa Under-18 Sevens team trains at the High Performance Unit Headquarters in Tuana’imato.