Lakapi Championship teams named
Samoa Rugby Union [S.R.U.] has announced the players for the teams that will go head-to-head in the Super Four Lakapi Championship at the Apia Park Stadium this Friday.
The teams have been placed in the men and women’s categories and include Savai’i, Upolu, Apolima and Manono while the three women’s teams comprise Taema, Nafanua and Tilafaiga. A total of 120 players will participate in the tournament.
The tournament’s sole female coach, Filoi Eneliko, is with Upolu and she is confident of their chances after the final squads were announced.
"It's a tough selection and Upolu is ready for the challenge ahead," she said.
Apolima coach Galumalemana Rudolf Moors told the Samoa Observer that he is happy with his team’s selection and he cannot wait for the tournament to kick-off this Friday.
"I am confident with the current squad we selected for Apolima. We are ready to play this week," he said.
But preparations haven’t gone according to plan for Savai’i head coach, Matamua Junior Salima, who revealed that player selection was a challenge due to the injuries of selected players.
However, he said he is confident of their success after the final squad was announced.
"It's a tough call to make finalizing our squad considering the injury toll we were facing. The current 30 players confirmed are the best players in our eyes and we are confident they can deliver the goods this week," he said.
The Upolu squad are Jack Laban (Moataa), Agape Pelesauma (Ulutogia), Uiva Tunu (Ulutogia), Siu Fanolua (Saoluafata), William Toala (Faga), Noel Sanft (Maagiagi), Raymond Salu (Marist), Theodore MacFarland (Moamoa), Mark Tusigaigoa (Vaiala), Jonathan Toelupe (Malie), AJ Sagaga (Apia), Wesley Patu (Vaiala), Tulele Masoe (Vaiala), Elia Tuumatavai (Marist), Lester Sefo (Vaiala), Elia Tolufale (Aana), Larry Sang Yum (Marist), Melani Matavao (captain, Fasitoo-tai), Perosi Taupo (Tufulele), Reupena Sevealii (Fasitoo-Tai), Tupu Tavae (Satapuala), Phillipe Toelupe (Malie), Bright Tapeneko (Laulii), Tauvaga Kolena (Vaiala), Paul Slater (Laulii), Moomoo Falaniko (Marist), Faafouina Loau (Marist), Owen Fetu (Vaiala), Pama Kalolo (Ulutogia), and Malu Falaniko (Vaiala).
Their assistant coach is Afa Hanipale with the manager Sharay Aiafi and their two first aid in rugby members assistants are Petelo Tovia and Cindy Hugo.
The Upolu team is captained by former Manu Samoa halfback Melani Matavao with the playing group including Manuma lock Theodore MacFarland and former Manu Samoa fullback Malu Falaniko. Recent player's selection into the Manu Samoa training squad Bright Tapeneko, Perosi Taupo and Paul Eti Slater are also part of the team.
The Manono squad comprises Malo Feagiai (Tepatasi), Peter Sam Ling (Vaiala), Faleolo Puepuemai (Vaiala), Jenny Taateo (Vaiala), Uili Uili (Maagiagi), Anthony Tamilo (Apia), Frank Sio (Solosolo), Billy Skelton (Apia), Miracle Faiilagi (Moataa), Steve Tuiuli (Vaimoso), Malo Soo (Tepatasi), Meleniuma Afatia (Vaiala), Liahona Vaegaau (Moataa), Kaisa Autagavaia (Vaigaga), Vaafauese Apelu (Tepatasi), Iakopo Selausene (Vaiala), East Timor Faamatuainu (Vaiala), Steve Rimoni (Vaiala), Ionatana Tino (captain - Apia), Alosio Afa (Malie), Andrew Wulf (Apia), Joe Perez (Laulii), Alofa Tamilo (Laulii), Tila Mealoi (Apia), Laaloi Leilua (Laulii), Ueta Avaotuna (Tufulele), Ivana Eli (Apia), LUke Malietoa (Moataa), Malo Luteru (Vaiala), and Alofa Luteru (Marist).
Their assistant coach is Polamalama Chris Faaofo with Mataafa Saeni Time their manager and Faith Lam and Samuelu Patu their first aid assistants. The Manono captain is a former Manu Samoa halfback with their team will also featuring a few up-and-coming players like Miracle Faiilagi, Malo Feagiai, East Timor Faamatuainu, and Steve Rimoni who represented Samoa in the U-20 that defeated Tonga at Apia Park earlier this year.
The Apolima final squad lineup includes Siliva Tapu (Vaiala), Solo Siaosi (Aana), Aitasi Tuvaifale (NUS), Afa Aioni (captain - Marist), Aiesi Simeti (Vaiala), Alo Mauinatu (Maagiagi), Clinton Skelton (Apia), Tasi Telea (Leulumoega), Pitoau Telea (Leulumoega), BJ Leuluaialii (SCOPA), Kirisimasi Tiumalu (Tepatasi), Gordon Langkilde (Satapuala), Paul Faalogo (Moataa), Pao Lauama (Fasitoo-tai), Heini Faanoi (Apia), Bob Niko (Marist), Etuale Fosi (Moataa), Pupi Ah See (Maagiagi), David Tavita (Vaiala), Patrick Faapale (Vaiala), Faafoi Falaniko (Tepatasi), Faleniu Iosi (Moataa), Uili Leavasa (Malie), Tuna Tuitama (Mulifanua), Billy Hugo (Apia), Samu Iosua (Ulutogia), Taunuu Niulevaea ( Fasitoo-tai), Dennis Maresa (Maagiagi), Paul Scanlan (Moataa), and Toa Faitui (Tepatasi).
Notable names in the Apolima squad include Gordon Langkilde, Manuma prop Siliva Rodney Tapu, Samu Iosua, Manu Samoa 7s winger Tuna Tuitama, Paul Scanlan and Toa Faitui.
And finally the Savai’i squad comprises Saini Iese (Vaimoso), Sialii Alofisa (Vailuutai), Petelo Mariner (Salelologa), Tommy Komisi (Saasaai), Malaefono Gaupule (Moamoa), Alofaaga Sao (Vaimoso), Ripine Fualau (captain - Moataa), Koroseta Veni (Vaiala), Tavita Sanele (Maagiagi), Kirisimasi Savaiinaea (Salelologa), Sile Williams (Apia), Sime Kolio (Salelologa), Enosa Auvaa (Salelologa), Lleyton Tepa Kirisome (Vaimoso), Tufa Seiuli (Nofoalii), Anzac Pago (Iva), Des Sepulona (Salelologa), Moevasa Muagututi'a (Ulutogia), Paulo Toilolo (Salelologa), Iafeta Purcell (Tepatasi), Iati Jr Iati (Sapapalii), Vaovasa Afa Sua (Salelologa), Epa Ario (Salelologa), Tuiai Taulia (Fasitoo Tai), Kelvin Masoe (Salelologa), Tipa Sapeti (Safotu), Siolo Tiatia (Gataivai), Faafou Amate (Sapapalii), Elisapeta Alofipo (Salelologa), and Frank Tato (Salelologa).
The Savai’i assistant coach is Sooalo Fono Pitoitua with Sua Hesed Ieremia the manager and Falelei Tuatagaloa and Alberta Alapati their first aid assistants.
The team lineup includes Manu Samoa prop Alofaaga Sao who will partner with Samoa A prop Saini Ese in their scrums. In the backs, Savai’i will be relying on the Manu Samoa winger, Elisapeta Alofipo and Kelvin Masoe.
Like the three other teams, Savai’i is confident of playing their 'A-game' on Friday with all the teams bringing their own style of playing and game management.