Captain Afamasaga not resting on his laurels
Samoa captain David Afamasaga said “no one’s spot is safe” including his own heading into the next round of the World Rugby Sevens Series in Hamilton on January 26th and 27th.
Even though he is pleased with his individual form in the Series to date, Afamasaga, 24, said there will always be work-ons.
“I’m never impressed with just one performance, you’ve gotta step it up every time you go on to the field.”
He was named one of the best players at the last tournament in Cape Town in December, earning a spot on the Dream Team.
“That took me by surprise, I didnt even know what it was and the boys were congratulating me at the dinner table after the tourney,” he said.
Afamasaga said if he is selected in the squad for Hamilton and the following round in Sydney, he will have to take his play up a notch.
That squad will be named later today by coach Sir Gordon Tietjens, after a week of intense trials at Tuanaimato.
Afamasaga and the other New Zealand-based players arrived in Samoa the Sunday before last for the camp.
“We’d been doing our own sessions overseas while the boys are working hard here on the island,” he said.
“We have our own schedules, but we get together when we can to motivate each other.”
He said that can be difficult because most of the players live apart from each other, unlike the situation in Samoa.
Afamasaga said the last week of training and trials was tough because of the long break between tournaments.
“It’s always tough getting back into it again after Christmas and New Year.”
“You just gotta make the right choices while you’re off camp and stuff.”
He said that’s about finding a balance, continuing to train and watching what you eat.
“It’s good to enjoy yourself just a little, but not too much.”
Samoa will be looking for better results to match their performances from the first two Series rounds.
In both Dubai and Cape Town, Samoa won two of their Day One pool matches but ended up in the second tier Challenge side of the tournament.
“Most times if you get two wins that’s enough to make it to the quarters,” said Afamasaga.
“But nowadays there’s no easy teams in the Series.”
His side will be up against it in Hamilton having drawn Series leaders USA, fourth place England and Tonga in Pool B.
Afamasaga said it’s a tough but beatable pool.
“We’ve got to go in with the focus just to win that first game.”
“Take care of England and the rest will take care of itself.”
That first game will be played on the 26th of January at 11:44am Samoan time.
It will be a game on home soil for the Samoan captain Afamasaga, who is not only based in New Zealand but grew up there.
He said that fact makes it even more of an honour to lead the squad.
“It’s still overwhelming to me at times.”
“When you do the stuff you love with the boys you love as well.”
“We’ve learned to grow together as brothers, the squad, and put our best foot forward for everything that we do.”