Manusina picked for Tri-Series in Fiji next week
Manusina Coach Ramsey Tomokino has selected a squad of 27 players to represent Samoa in the upcoming Tri-Series with Hong Kong and Fiji.
They will arrive in Fiji next Saturday, before the Hong Kong game on Tuesday the 28th of May and the following Saturday (June 1st)'s game against the hosts.
The team will train together for the first time in Fiji, and Tomokino said it will be a short amount of time to get the girls comfortable with each other.
“It’s gonna be a pretty tough week actually, not much downtime so totally rugby-focused.
“It’s not easy but we’ll get there."
There are 12 debutantes in the squad, adding to the core group that came second at the Oceania Rugby Women's Championship last year.
“It’s an opportunity to try out some new players and new combinations, and build towards November [and the 2019 Oceania Rugby Women's Championship]," said Tomokino.
“The purpose of this particular tour is about building depth, and finding out who our best players are."
He said everything they are doing this year is about building for November, as the winner of the Oceania Rugby Women's Championship qualifies for the World Cup in 2021.
“We wanna try and perform in these games but everything is building to selecting a squad towards November.
“Hopefully we can get a win along the way, but the main focus for me is let’s be competitive and we can then start building.
“It’s an opportunity to get test match rugby, an opportunity to expose our girls to more rugby and that’s what we need."
Samoa lost the 2018 Oceania Rugby Women's Championship title decider to Fiji 43-12 in their last game.
“That’ll be a good benchmark to see where we’re at," Tomokino said.
He said Hong Kong will be strong opposition as well.
“They’re not to be taken lightly either, they dusted up Fiji a couple of years ago, beat them quite comfortably to get to the World Cup."
Hong Kong defeated Fiji 45-7 the last time they matched up in 2016.
The Manusina squad contains 16 New Zealand-based players, six based in Samoa, four based in Australia and one based in the United States.
“We’ve increased our local complement of players, and obviously that’s always the goal," Tomokino said.
|Josephine Falesita||Center||Sato’alepai, Saipipi||Parramatta 2 Blues, NSW|
|Catherine Samuela||Halfback/Flyhalf||Solosolo, Si’umu||Randwick Magic, NSW|
|Jhana Sina Magele||Halfback/Fullback||Maagiagi, Vaigaga||Papatoetoe Rugby Club, Auckland|
|Alafou Fatu||Halfback/Utility||Sataoa, Safata, Vaisala||Parramatta 2 Blues, NSW|
|Elisapeta Leti||Halfback/Utility||Asau, Fogasavaii||Apia Maroons|
|Billy-Jean Tuavale Ale||Midfield Back||Maagiagi||Ardmore Marist, Counties Manukau|
|Perise Tumutumu||Midfield Back||Salea’aumua||Aleipata|
|Luisa Gago||Midfield Back||Avao, Fagaloa||NZ Warriors, Auckland|
|Lumepa Maiava||Utility Back||Falelima, Gataivai||Manurewa, Counties Manukau|
|Lorena Schwenke-Churchward||Wing||Faleasi’u, Vailima||Linwood Rugby Club, Canterbury|
|Sieni Mose||Wing||Fagalii, Solosolo, Vaiala, Saleimoa||Petone, Wellington|
||Utah Vipers, Utah
||Sapapalii, Matautu, Lalomalava, Vaiusu, Nofoali'i
||Glenfield, North Harbour
||Vailoa, Fa'ala, Palauli
||Suburbs Rugby Club, Canterbury
||Vaimoso, Gagaifo, Apolima, Leulumoega
||Canterbury Bulldogs, NSW
||Openside Flanker||Foailalo||Christchurch RFC, Canterbury|
|Cynthia Apineru||Prop||Vaipuna, Le'auva'a||College Rifles, Auckland|
|Jacqui Aiono||Prop||Falelima, Fasito'o-uta||Manurewa, Counties Manukau|
|Jennifer Simati||Prop||Fasito'o-uta, Fatausi||Marist Napier Tech, Hawkes Bay|
|Marilyn Live||Prop||Matautu, Lefaga, Ga'utavai||Kia Toa, Manawatu|
|Talosaga Alatasi Manu||Prop||Vaipuna, Lauli'i, Samusu, Lalomanu||Linwood Rugby Club, Canterbury|