National Sevens trial kicks off on Thursday
The National Sevens trials will kick off on Thursday and feature four men and three women’s teams as Lakapi Samoa moves to begin the selection of Manu Samoa and Manusina representative players.
Lakapi Samoa’s High Performance Unit General Manager, Seumanu Douglas Ngau Chun, confirmed the start of the four-day tournament run over two weeks.
He said the trial games are scheduled for this Thursday and Friday and next Thursday and Friday at the Apia Park stadium.
“All our matches will be played at Apia Park and it's open to the public. The kickoff will be at 9.30am," he said in an email, in response to questions sent by the Samoa Observer.
"The main objective of the national trials is to give the opportunity to all players in both Manu Samoa 7s squad and Manusina 7s squad to perform to our selectors before we finalise our final squads for 2021.
“Once we complete the national trials we will announce 24 men for Manu Samoa 7s and 16 women for Manusina 7s that will commit to our national sevens program.
“The rest of the players not considered will be involved in the academy cohorts either through elite, emerging and developing.”
All the players selected for the trials have been divided and they are all preparing for their match-up on Thursday morning. The teams are named after the same names that were used in the Super Four Lakapi Championship 2020.
The Upolu team comprises East Timor Viliamu, Malo Tiumalu Soo, Elia Tumatavai, Faafou Amate, Liahona Vaegaau, David Tavita, Neueli Leutufia, Faafoi Falaniko, Alofa Luteru, Faafouina Loau, Joe Perez, and Bright Tapeneko. The head coach is Filoi Eneliko and manager Sharay Aiafi.
The Manono team comprises Theodore McFarland, Tipaula Sapeti, Uaina Sione, Joephi Pama Kalolo, Iakopo Selausene, Steve Rimoni, Perosi Taupo, Lomiga Fatu, Ueta Avaotuna, Paul Eti Slater, Tuna Tuitama, and Toa Faitui. The head coach is Galumalemana Rudolf Moors and manager Mataafa Saeni Leatupue.
The Apolima team includes Vaafauese Apelu, Mark Tusigaigoa, PJ Leuluaialii, Tupu Tavae, Lemisio Tovio, Melani Matavao, Tila Mealoi, Paul Scanlan, Taualai Panoa, Owen Fetu Niue, Moomoo Falaniko, and Naturo Salatielu. The head coach is Mailo Potu Leavasa and manager is Fainuulelei James Ah Wai.
And the Savaii team which is coached by Matamua Junior Salima and managed by Su's Hesed Ieremia. Their squad is Gordon Langkilde, Miracle Faiilagi, Kirisimasi Tiumalu, Taunuu Niulevaea, Enosa Auvaa, Des Sepulona, Billy Hugo, Malo Luteru, Mark Kolio, Malu Falaniko, Laaloi Leilua, and Phillipe Toelupe.
The Taema squad comprises Saelua Seleti, Fogamanono Sila, Litia Nuu, Tiffany Tanuvasa, Oketopa Faafua, Fuatele Toso, Fiavae Laititi, Linda Fiafia, Sydney Pelenato, Fofoga Vaa, Faye Sinei, Maria Iosefo, and Fetuleni Fagalilo. The coach is Seifono Misili and manager Sam Ah Sam.
The Nafanua squad is Lomi Mulipola, Arasi Ieremia, Alofa Sopoaga, Opeta Toala, Dee Matai, Utumoa Alalatoa, Suliando Lafai, Ruhama Leiataua, Luana Alefosio, Inalei Laulu, Cynthia Faalogo, Pe'a Asiasiga, and Rosalia Siaki. The coach is Toluiva Keneti and manager Saimaauga Niulevaea.
And the Tilafaiga squad comrprises Perise Tumutumu, Charity Leiataua, Marelda Collins, Rebirth Paulo, Pearl Silipa, Fuarosa Niusila, Marie Kaisa, Faalua Lefulefu, Elisapeta Leti, Faaoge Tanielu, Afioga Opapo, Mariota Fiu, and Maria Tomasi. The coach is Soonalote Sefo and manager Tui Unasa.
The trials will be used to select the top 24 who will train and be named in the Manu Samoa Sevens Squad 2021 while those who don’t make the squad will be part of the Lakapi Samoa Academy.