Manu Samoa World Cup review ongoing
The review of Manu Samoa’s Rugby World Cup performance is ongoing.
And a decision on the future of Manu Samoa Coach, Vaeluagaomatagi Steve Jackson, is unlikely to be made until a final report is presented to the Union’s Board “some time in January or early February.”
That's the latest update from Samoa Rugby Union (S.R.U.) Chief Executive Officer, Faleomavaega Vincent Fepulea’i.
“There’s no real rush because Manu Samoa will probably get together again some time in July next year,” he said.
“There’s a thorough process being followed at the moment between the Union and World Rugby and the Players Association collectively.”
The Board will then decide on whether to retain Vaeluaga or publicly advertise for a new Manu Samoa coach.
In the meantime, applications have closed for the General Manager of High Performance role, the position that oversees all representative teams.
S.R.U. hopes to have that position filled at some point in February, along with several other technical roles in the High Performance Unit.
“There’s a lot of interest as always with these positions,” Faleomavaega said.
Originally set to expire this month, the C.E.O.’s contract has been extended through the end of February so he can oversee those hiring processes, including Faleomavaega’s potential replacement.
“A lot of the reviews are going on at the moment, and then there’ll be a break over Christmas and we’ll continue on from that,” Faleomavaega said.
He said 2019 had been a challenging year as always, but thanked the country and all S.R.U.’s sponsors for their support.
“Rugby World Cup was disappointing for everybody, especially for us as well, we could have done a lot better than what transpired,” Faleomavaega said.
“But we’re always optimistic, and we’re consistently trying to look to the other challenges that are coming up.”
The Manu Samoa 7s team played the first two legs of the World Rugby Sevens Series over the last couple of weekends.
With Samoa still suffering in the measles epidemic, Faleomavaega said he hoped S.R.U. could create some positives in what has been a terrible end of the year.
“Our rugby teams can hopefully contribute in a positive way to put some smiles on our people’s faces,” he said.
The Manu 7s made it to the semifinals at the Dubai Sevens, creating just such a feeling amongst Samoan rugby fans.
“A lot of the other countries have been very supportive, which has been very good for our country in what has been a terrible last two months,” Faleomavaega said.
“We would’ve liked to end the year on a high note last weekend in South Africa, but it wasn’t to be.”
Samoa finished 13th at the Cape Town Sevens, and now have over a month until the next leg of the Series in Hamilton on the 25th and 26th of January.