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.

Full Squad:

Position Village Club, Province/State
Josephine Falesita Center Sato’alepai, Saipipi Parramatta 2 Blues, NSW
Soteria Pulumu Fullback Ti’avea-uta Aleipata
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
Linda Fiafia Wing Maagiagi Maagiagi
Lorena Schwenke-Churchward Wing Faleasi’u, Vailima Linwood Rugby Club, Canterbury
Sieni Mose Wing Fagalii, Solosolo, Vaiala, Saleimoa Petone, Wellington
Eta Mailau
Utah Vipers, Utah
Inga Timani
Sapapalii, Matautu, Lalomalava, Vaiusu, Nofoali'i
Glenfield, North Harbour
Apaula Kerisiano
Lock/Loose Forward
Tuana'i, Sa'anapu
A'ana Blues
Easter Savelio
Lock/Loose Forward
Vailoa, Fa'ala, Palauli
Suburbs Rugby Club, Canterbury
Mary-Lee Sa'u
Lock/Loose Forward
Vaimoso, Gagaifo, Apolima, Leulumoega
Petone, Wellington
Senetima Tapugao
Loose Forward
Canterbury Bulldogs, NSW
Ta'imua Taio
Loose Forward
Ti'avea-uta, Satupa'itea
Nina Foaese
Number Eight
Vailoa, Faleata
Norths, Wellington
Masuisuimatamaalii Pa'uaraisa
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
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