Manumā Samoa training in New Zealand to avoid wet weather
Manumā Samoa are training in New Zealand to avoid bad weather ahead of their inaugural Global Rapid Rugby season.
The squad have been working together in Papatoetoe, Auckland for the last two weeks before they depart for Perth, Australia on Thursday ahead of their Round One Match against the South China Tigers this Saturday.
Head coach, Muliagatele Brian Lima, said the planned the pre-season trip to escape the wet weather in Samoa during cyclone season.
“I asked to come here early, and train here and camp here to get some good quality training in the nice weather,” he said.
“Because of the rain, we can’t do any training, we can’t achieve anything.”
Muliagatele and his coaching staff have been working with the Samoan-based players in the squad for several months, and in Papatoetoe they were joined by some other players who were developed in Samoa before migrating to New Zealand.
“They fit in very well, they’re mature enough to learn the calls and the patterns really quickly, and we’re happy with that,” the head coach said.
While some of the New Zealand and Samoan-based players would have taken the field together for Samoa A over the past couple of years, Muliagatele said the training camp has been useful for everyone to get comfortable with each other, achieve clarity and learn one another’s on-field habits.
“Building combinations and getting to know each other,” he said.
Manumā have also played a couple of practice games against local clubs, and had a hit-out against the Bay of Plenty-based China Lions over the weekend.
“It’s a good game to play, it’s the next level up from the clubs we played [the week before],” Muliagatele said.
“We treat this game like the first game of the tournament.”
The actual first game of the first full season of Global Rapid Rugby will be played between Manumā Samoa and the South China Tigers at HBF Park in Perth on Saturday at 10:10 pm Samoan time.