Manuma Samoa team named for Global Rapid Rugby season

Manuma Samoa, a squad of home-grown players based in Samoa, will compete with five other sides in Season 1 of Global Rapid Rugby.

The team was revealed on Thursday, along with four of the five other sides that will compete in 2020: Western Force (Australia), Fijian Latui, South China Tigers (Hong Kong) and Malaysia Valke.

A press release from Global Rapid Rugby states that Manuma Samoa is “an exciting, home-grown squad capable of anything, particularly on a redeveloped home stadium in Apia.”

Manuma Samoa’s first match is on the 13-15 March weekend, against the South China Tigers in Hong Kong.

There are a further nine rounds of competition, before the top two sides face off in a grand final on the 5th or 6th of June in Perth, with total prize money exceeding $1.8 million tala.

After the Showcase Series of matches last year, Global Rapid Rugby CEO Mark Evans said expanding the competition with more teams and more games is exciting.

“In particular, providing Fiji and Samoa with access to a full-scale, international competition is an enormous result for the sport worldwide,” he said.

“We have worked hard to ensure all teams’ travel times and days away from home are similar and I know all the teams and unions involved share our expectation around how even the competition will be.

“We hope all fans of elite sport get behind their teams and ensure loud and proud crowds provide a real home ground advantage.”

The Manuma Samoa’s training squad of 58 began training together on the 4th of November.

That group is made up entirely of local players, including the Manu Samoa’s Afa Aiono, Iakopo Mapu, Melani Matavao, Patrick Fa’apale and Malu Falaniko.

Already locked in for the Perth-based Western Force are Manu players Henry Stowers, AJ Alatimu and Henry Taefu.

Manuma Samoa 2020 training squad:

Saini Iese (Vikings)
Noel Sanft (Chiefs)
Alo Mauinatu (Eels)
Sapani Penaia (Tornadoes)
Malaefono Gaupule (Knights)
Alofaaga Sao (Vikings)
Brook Toomalatai (Navigators)
Siliva Tapu (Eels)
Steve Eliu (Knights)
Frank Sio (Knights)

Afa Aiono (Chiefs)
Jenny Taateo (Navigators)
Frank Tupuola (Knights)

Theodore McFarland (Vikings)
Aukusitino Ulugia (Vikings)
Ioelu Kitiona (Chiefs)
Kerisimasi Tiumalu (Legends)
Steve Tuiuli (Eels)
Miracle Faiilagi (Eels)

Loose forwards
Elia Tolufale (Chiefs)
Nissan Aitui (Vikings)
Liahona Vaegaau (Chiefs)
Setu Sikoti (Legends)
Anzac Pago (Vikings)
Pao Lauama (Chiefs)
Joe Faleafaga (Tornadoes)
Tusi Tavita (Chiefs)
Iakopo Mapu (Chiefs)
Tufa Seiuli (Chiefs)

Pupi Ah See (Chiefs)
Ionatana Tino (Eels)
Vaimoli Toniga (Knights)
Melani Matavao (Chiefs)
Collin Palamo (Tornadoes)
Dave Puleiala (Vikings)

First fives
Patrick Fa’apale (Eels)
Jordan Muese (Warriors)
Alosio Afa (Knights)
Joyner Key (Chiefs)

Chris Leota (Chiefs)
Faleniu Iosi (Eels)
Tulolo Tulolo (Chiefs)
Frank Tato (Vikings)
Ueta Avaoletuna (Eagles)
Faaaliliu Mitivao (Chiefs)
Malu Fagalele (Chiefs)
Sooalofaina Tamilo (Tornadoes)
Johnny Samuelu (Chiefs)
Manuia Tiumalu (Legends)
Samu Iosua (Legends)

Outside backs
Papu Wulf (Navigators)
Ivana Eli (Eels)
Dennis Maresa (Eels)
Henry Wulf (Eels)
Malu Falaniko (Eels)
Larry Mitivao (Chiefs)
Filimoni Filimoni (Knights)
Mathew Evile (Chiefs)

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