Manu Samoa 7s off to Hong Kong
The 13 players that will represent Samoa at the World Rugby Sevens Series rounds in Hong Kong next week and Singapore the week flew out of the country today.
Manu Samoa 7s coach Sir Gordon Tietjens has made a few changes to the squad that performed so well in the Las Vegas and Vancouver rounds, making back-to-back Cup quarterfinals.
Tomasi Alosio returns from a long-term injury which saw him miss those campaigns, and Melani Matavao and Siaosi Asofolau have recovered from injuries sustained in Vancouver to make the squad.
Joe Perez and Gasologa Pelenato were both ruled out through injury, while Danny Tusitala and Maauga Iamanu have missed out on selection.
They are replaced by Laaloi Leilua, who last played for Samoa at the Sevens World Cup in 2018, and debutant Paul Scanlan, who was recently named MVP of the Taula Apia Rugby Union competition for his excellent form at fullback for Moata'a.
Coach Sir Gordon Tietjens said the elevated reputation and status of the Hong Kong tournament has had a bearing on the selection process.
“I’ve picked an experienced team, guys that’ve played in the big tournaments, that can handle that sort of pressure.
“It’s not a place you can just chuck brand new young guys in there."
Samoa will play Scotland in the opening game of the Hong Kong 7s at 11:42pm Samoan time on Friday.
Their other pool games are against Japan and South Africa at 5:16pm and 9:22pm on Saturday.
Manu Samoa 7s squad for Hong Kong and Singapore:
- David Afamasaga (captain) - Auckland Marist
- Alamanda Motuga - Manurewa RFC/Counties Manukau
- Tofatuimoana Solia - Satalo/Southern Tornadoes
- Siaosi Asofolau - Vaiala/Navigators
- Tomasi Alosio - Hutt Old Boys Marist
- Melani Matavao - Fasito'o Uta/Aana Chiefs
- Murphy Paulo - Vaiala/Southern Tornadoes
- Tila Mealoi - Apia Maroons/Legends
- Johnny Samuelu - Vaiala/Warriors
- Elisapeta Alofipo - Tama Uli Salelologa/Vikings
- Johnny Vaili - Satapuala/Moata'a/Aana Chiefs
- Laaloi Leilua - Tepatasi/Legends
- Paul Scanlan - Moata'a/Eels