Manu Samoa Captain Vui keeping it simple
Being called upon to lead your country onto world rugby’s biggest stage at the Rugby World Cup s not a small feat.
For the new Manu Samoa captain, Chris Vui, who has had to step in for the injured Jack Lam, he wants to keep things simple.
“I’m just trying to treat it as any other game,” the 26-year-old blindside flanker told the Samoa Observer in Japan.
One of their key goals is to get their line outs working again.
Australia clearly did their homework on Samoa’s line out prior to their Sydney test match two weeks ago. Vui said they are expecting the same from Russia.
“I’m not going to drastically change everything, I think we’ve got great leaders in our line out that can run the show,” he said.
“It’s just a matter of us buying into the process of our line outs and set pieces, then we’ll get accuracy out of it.”
Vui whose parents are from the villages of Foaluga, Lano and Sa’asa’ai, will lead the Manu out for kickoff against Russia at 11:15 pm Samoan time at Kumagaya Rugby Stadium.
Asked what the fans can expect from his Manu Samoa team, Vui, they can look forward to a good game against Russia.
“I think they can expect some fun flair,” he said.
After the captain’s run on Monday, the captain said the venue is an awesome stadium with a beautiful field.
“The stands are really close to the pitch, so we’ll definitely hear the crowd tomorrow.”
They might not hear the Samoan fans from all around the world, but Vui and the Manu know they will be watching eagerly after a long four years since the last World Cup.
The Bristol Bears forward said most of the Manu’s games, like the Pacific Nations Cup matches, are only available over the internet in some countries.
“But this is obviously broadcast all over the world, so every Samoan can watch the game,” he said.
As one of the last teams to get their tournament underway, Vui and his team have had to watch most of the other nations play from the sidelines.
“We’ve seen how the competition is, and it’s fairly tight, anyone can win on the day,” he said.
One trend Vui has noticed is the large amount of kicking through the opening games, particularly box kicks from the halfback.
“We’ll look into that, but we still wanna keep our Samoan flair, how we wanna play rugby.”
Between that and a travel day from Yamagata to Kumagaya, it’s been bit of a weird week of buildup for the Manu, but the skipper said they are trying to make that into a positive:
“I think in camp we’re just trying to embrace every moment that we have together.”
Not only is the Russia match Vui’s first World Cup game, he has also never played on a Tuesday before.
“Not professionally, the odd club game back at home in New Zealand,” he said.
Vui missed the final two pre-World Cup games with a flu.