Samoa Rugby Union sanctions Kagifa Samoa as it eyes $1.8 million
The Samoa Rugby Union (S.R.U.) has thrown its support behind a new global professional rugby competition offering A$1million (T$1.8million) as the top prize money.
The Union has joined forces with a group called Pacific Sports International to drive “Kagifa-Samoa,” a team that will draw on Samoan players from the local Super 9 Competition as well as other Samoan players from around the world.
Kagifa Samoa is led by the Chief Executive Officer of Pacific Sports International of Hawaii, United States, Richard Fale.
They will join other teams from Australia, Fiji, Hong Kong and Singapore in the Global Rapid Rugby competition set to launch with a series of exhibition matches this year.
Kagifa Samoa’s first game is against Western Force in Perth on 31 May 2019.
"It's going to be new, it's going to be high-paced, it's going to be intense," Fale is quoted by One News.
“You have to look at what is the market place going to look like in five years, in 10 years, in 20 years."
One News reports that Kagifa Samoa has already formed a relationship with Counties Manukau and Mitre 10 Cup coaches, Darryl Suasua and former Manu Samoa captain, Matautia Semo Sititi, who are likely to lead the side.
A media statement issued by the Samoa Rugby Union on Tuesday does not provide a lot of logistical information about S.R.U’s involvement.
It says however that S.R.U. “has partnered with Pacific Sports International” to push the new team.
“Currently the club is being assembled in Auckland NZ drawing on the large and deep Samoan rugby playing diaspora as well as the Manu Samoa and players from the Samoan “Super 9” competition which started last weekend,” the statement reads.
The following is the statement issued by the Samoa Rugby Union today:
“Imagine a rugby match played in just 70 minutes with time limits for scrums and lineouts! Imagine scoring tries that rake in not 5 or 7 but 9 points without even having to convert the try!
And then imagine all that in a rugby competition with a million Australian dollars as first prize!
Well, all those and more are about to hit Samoan and Fijian shores in the form of a fast developing new form of rugby union, Rapid Rugby.
Global Rapid Rugby has received World Rugby sanction to have a competition of clubs based in Asia, Western Australia, Fiji and Samoa. Minor tweaking of lineouts and points scored in tries is expected to see a fast and exciting form of rugby. Rapid Rugby has already shown itself to be swift, demanding and exciting rugby union.
A prerequisite of setting up a Samoan club was to gain a sanction from the host nation rugby union – in this case the Samoa Rugby Union. Consequently, SRU has partnered with Pacific Sports International to provide guidance and help in assembling a Samoan identity club.
The club is called Kagifa-Samoa, Kagifa being a legendary massive “wild fish” which caused much havoc in ancient times. Kagifa-Samoa is formed by Pacific Sports International of Hawaii, United States under the leadership of Richard Fale the CEO.
Currently the club is being assembled in Auckland NZ drawing on the large and deep Samoan rugby playing diaspora as well as the Manu Samoa and players from the Samoan “Super 9” competition which started last weekend.
This year, the Rapid Rugby Showcase will launch the brand in the Asia Pacific region, traveling throughout Asia, the Pacific Islands and Australasia to give fans, viewers, players and coaches a live taste of what is to come in Season One in 2020.
And that is when teams including Kagifa Samoa will compete for an AUD$1 million first prize.
The first match will be May 18th hosted by the GRR Fijian Latui club and played at ANZ National Stadium in Suva.
Kagifa Samoa will play their first game in Perth against Western Force on May 31st and their return match will be in Brisbane June 15th.