Manumā Samoa to open Global Rapid rugby season in Perth
Manumā Samoa’s schedule is set for the team’s first season in Global Rapid Rugby, after competition organisers were forced to make changes due to the novela coronavirus outbreak.
Their opening ‘home’ fixture will be played at HBF Park in Perth against the Hong Kong-based South China Tigers at 10:10 pm Samoan time.
The Manumā will play four games at Apia Park over the 10 round home-and-away season, with road trips to Malaysia, Fiji, Australia, Hong Kong and New Zealand also locked in.
The Samoan team had initially been slated to open the season with an away game against the South China Tigers in Hong Kong, however the spread of COVID-19 through Asia forced a reshuffle of scheduling.
China Lions were initially going to split their home fixtures between Shanghai, China and Rotorua, New Zealand, but restrictions on sports teams entering China means the games will be played in New Zealand and Australia.
In a press release, Global Rapid Rugby chief executive officer Mark Evans said his organisation are ready and can’t wait to launch the competition.
“It is all systems go for Global Rapid Rugby in 2020. The situation in China and its effects elsewhere have meant the schedule has been amended a little but, I’m proud to say, there is not one hurdle we have not been able to overcome," he said. "The health and welfare of the players, the coaches and our fans has been our number one concern and we have followed the advice of all relevant authorities, including the World Health Organisation, every step of the way.”
Head coach Muliagatele Brian Lima has been leading the Manumā Samoa training group since late last year, with the squad of local players set to take on teams from around the Asia-Pacific region for a share of Global Rapid Rugby’s $1.8 million tala prize pool.
Manumā Samoa fixtures (all in Samoan time):
- Saturday 14th March: Manumā Samoa vs South China Tigers – HBF Park, Australia, 10:10 pm
- Saturday 21st March: Manumā Samoa vs Western Force – Apia Park, Samoa, 4:15 pm
- Saturday 28th March: Malaysian Valke vs Manumā Samoa – Stadium Tudm, Malaysia, 10:15 pm
- Saturday 11th April: Manumā Samoa vs China Lions – Apia Park, Samoa, 3:15 pm
- Saturday 18th April: Fijian Latui vs Manumā Samoa – Ratu Cakobau Park, Fiji, 4:15 pm
- Saturday 25th April: Western Force vs Manumā Samoa – HBF Park, Australia, 12:15 am
- Friday 1st May: South China Tigers vs Manumā Samoa – Hong Kong National Stadium, Hong Kong, 11:45 pm
- Friday 8th May: Manumā Samoa vs Malaysia Valke – Apia Park, Samoa, 6:15 pm
- Sunday 17th May: China Lions vs Manumā Samoa – Rotorua International Stadium, New Zealand, 4:15 pm
- Saturday 23rd May: Manumā Samoa vs Fijian Latui – Apia Park, Samoa, 6:15 pm
- Saturday 6th June: Grand Final – HBF Park, Australia