Manusina Sevens named for crucial Olympic qualifier
The 12 players that will represent Samoa at the 2019 Oceania Rugby Women’s Sevens Championship in Suva, Fiji have been selected.
The Manusina 7s have called on eight players that featured in their last squad, which finished fourth at the Pacific Games in July.
Vice-captain and playmaker Saelua Seleti is back after missing the Games tournament with injury, although they will be without the gamebreaking Soteria Pulumu, who is focussing on the Manusina 15s campaign to qualify for the 2021 World Cup
The Pacific Games team lost 31-0 to Fiji in the semifinals before missing out on bronze with a 28-12 loss to Papua New Guinea.
There’s even more on the line this time around; a spot in the 2020 Olympics beckons for the best-placed team outside of already-qualified Australia and New Zealand.
Based on results from the Pacific Games, Samoa enter the Oceania Sevens as third-favourites to earn that berth behind the aforementioned Fiji and Papua New Guinea, who both spent time on the 2018-19 World Rugby Sevens Series.
Other teams competing at the tournament are Canada, Cook Islands, Japan, Nauru, New Caledonia, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu.
Games will be played at Churchill Park, Lautoka from the 7th to the 9th of November.
Manusina 7s team for 2019 Oceania Sevens:
Masuisuimatamaalii Pauaraisa (c)
Victoria Tausiva Lauina
Alafou Nerell Fatu
Saelua Seleti (vc)
Manager: Avi’i Fa’alupega
Head Coach: Auimatagi Sapani Pomare
Assistant Coach: La’auli Rudy Leavasa
Physiotherapist: Olivia Withers