Manumā Samoa ready for first game
The Manumā Samoa will play their first match on Saturday night against the South China Tigers in the opening round of Global Rapid Rugby.
Kickoff is set for 10:10 pm Samoan time at HBF Park in Perth, Australia, where the Manumā squad flew on Thursday from their pre-season camp in New Zealand.
Being the inaugural outing for both sides, it's fair to suggest that both sides' preparations would have centred on internal improvement rather than nullifying the opposition.
In a piece on the Global Rapid Rugby website, head coach Muliagatele Brian Lima talked about what fans can expect to see from the Manumā:
“I like to see the ball moved around to create space that we can punch through, but I’m just as likely to keep it all moving with our pack.
“The laws of the Global Rapid Rugby tournament encourage running rugby so that is exactly what we will try to do.”
Muliagatele said the law variations will lead to a faster game, so his side have been working on fitness as well as distribution skills and defence.
"If we can minimise handling errors and lapses in discipline then we should be able to get our momentum going and be formidable," he said.
Samoa Rugby Union Chief Executive Officer Faleomavaega Vincent Fepuleai outlined in the piece why he is looking forward to Global Rapid Rugby commencing.
“This is one of the most exciting developments in international rugby in recent years and will contribute to the growth of the game in Asia and the Pacific region," he said
“We are very excited by the prospects that Global Rapid Rugby holds for both our organisation and our players, who have much to gain through the exposure that this new tournament will provide.
“We feel privileged to be a part of the event and look forward to it going from strength to strength in years to come.”
Manumā Samoa travelling squad to play South China Tigers (one player to be ommitted for matchday 23):
Tietie Tuimauga, Alofaaga Sao, Steven Savali, Rodney Siliva Tapu, Leif Schwencke, John Perelini Sauni, Emmanuel Ioane, Callum Adams, Theodore McFarland, Silao Nonu Talimao, Oneone Faafou Soisoi, Presley Tufuga, Liahona Vaegaau, Mathew Taula Fili
Ionatana Tino, Rilloy Seuseu, Patrick Faapale, D’Angelo Leuila, Alefosio Tapili, Samu Iosua, Malu Falaniko, Tila Mealoi, Johnny Samuelu, Joshua Tafili
Head Coach: Muliagatele Brian Lima
Assistant Coach (Forwards): Mase Mahonri Schwalger
Assistant Coach (Backs): Soifua John Schuster
Trainer: Mailo Potu Leavasa
Team Manager: Tuala Pat Leota
Team Doctor: Dr. Sebastian Paulo
Video Analyst: Junior Narayan
Physio: Ala Bakulich-Leavasa