Manusina to take on Manu Samoa Sevens
Samoa is about to take equality in sports to another level as the nation counts down to the Pacific Games opening ceremony on Sunday.
On Friday, the Manusina Sevens and Manu Samoa Sevens will face off at Tuana'imato as part of their Pacific Games preparations.
The match was confirmed by the Media and Marketing Coordinator of the Samoa Rugby Union, Tuiasau Leota Petaia, in an email yesterday.
"This is to advise interested media that Manusina 7's and Manu Samoa 7's will have a run against each other this Friday July 5 , 10am at Tuana'imato HPU Grounds after their morning training runs," the email reads.
When the Samoa Observer asked to clarify if this meant the women's team will take on the men's team in an actual game, Tuiasau responded: "This will a game against each other."
The Samoa Observer could not ascertain whether this is the first time a women's team will play a men's team in Sevens rugby - or in any rugby for that matter.
Attempts are being made to get comments from the coaching staff of both teams.
But the squads were named at the Team Samoa announcement lunch last Saturday.
The game on Friday will be among their final training runs ahead of the tournament on the 12th and 13th of July at Apia Park.
The Manu Samoa Sevens have selected their best available team for the tournament, including Tofatuimoana Solia, Joe Perez, Johnny Samuelu and Johnny Vaili who will all link up with the Manu Samoa 15s squad for the Pacific Nations Cup afterwards.
Melani Matavao will join the 15s side in camp, however is unavailable for both the Pacific Games and Pacific Nations Cup campaigns due to injury.
Captain David Afamasaga has not been named in the Manu Samoa 7s side either.
The Manusina Sevens have bolstered their locally based core of players with recruits from overseas for their final 12-women squad.
Christchurch-based trio Mauisuimatamaalii Tauasa Pauaraisa, Alafou Fatu and Easter Savelio all played in the Manusina 15s recent Asia Pacific Championship win, and Apaau Ma'ilau made the final cut having come over from Utah, U.S.A. to trial for the Pacific Games squad.
Manusina 7s Pacific Games squad:
- Mauisuimatamaalii Tauasa Pauaraisa
- Alofa Sopoaga
- Fa'alua Lefulefu
- Soteria Pulumu
- Maria Jacinta Ausai
- Elisapeta Leti
- Seifono Misili
- Victoria Lauina
- Perise Tumutumu
- Easter Savelio
- Alafou Fatu
- Apaau Ma'ilau
Manu Samoa 7s Pacific Games squad:
- Siaosi Asofolau
- Tofatuimoana Solia
- Tila Mealoi
- Joe Perez
- Laaloi Leilua
- Elisapeta Alofipo
- Phillip Luki
- Tomasi Alosio Logotuli
- Alamanda Motuga
- Johnny Samuelu
- Paulo Toilolo Fanuasa
- John Vaili