Samoa push for more international fixtures in London

The Samoa Rugby Union (S.R.U.) is hoping for more fixtures for the Manu Samoa as a result of their World Rugby workshop in London last month.

S.R.U. Vice-Chairman, Seumanu Douglas Ngau Chun, and Financial Controller/acting High Performance General Manager, Yona Tielu, attended the workshop along with high performance and coaching personnel from 11 other Tier 2 rugby nations.

They held discussions on creating a “meaningful and sustainable competition model for unions outside of the Six Nations and The Rugby Championship that accelerates the competitiveness of the global game,” according to a press release from World Rugby.

“We believe the attendees of the two day workshop left London with the understanding that we supported a model that benefits the emerging nations in an international fixture calendar and also links us to a clear pathway from regional tournaments in to a high performance global competition," Seumanu said.

“We are now waiting for the World Rugby Executive Committee and Council in finalizing the new global competition model which we hope will kick-off in 2021.”

The workshop outcomes will be presented to the World Rugby Regional Rugby Committee and Executive Committees in March, and after consultation a preferred model will be considered by the World Rugby Council in May.

“When we attended the meeting our goal was to make sure we have a clear pathway for our Manu Samoa to prepare and have quality fixtures leading to RWC2023,” Seumanu said.

S.R.U. want to increase the amount of Manu Samoa fixtures per year from around 6-8 to 10-15.

The Manu played 23 tests between the 2015 and 2019 World Cups to the All Blacks’ 47, illustrating the difference in fixtures for Tier 1 and 2 nations.

“The proposed options agreed upon will increase fixtures for our Manu Samoa and also have more opportunity to play with the top 12 teams of the World and improve our ranking,” Seumanu said.

“The other area we also put forward was commercial sustainability of such tournaments which was accepted by World Rugby, that we don’t have a fair playing field in terms of corporate companies but they were willing to help emerging nations in securing potential revenue to assist with the new proposed global competition.”

Representatives from each World Rugby region, SANZAAR, Six Nations and the International Rugby Players Association were also present at the workshop, however discussions were focused purely on empowering emerging nations and their preparations for the next World Cup.

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