Apia Rugby Union kick starts season
The Apia Rugby Union (A.R.U.) will kick start this year's season this weekend in preparation for the 33rd Vailima Marist International Sevens, the Samoa Observer can reveal.
An A.R.U. media spokesperson, Tafaoimalo Laifa Vaoiva Peterson, told the Samoa Observer that the beginning of the new season was to prepare players for fixtures that lay ahead.
"This is an annual tournament for Apia Rugby Union, to start off their rugby calendar especially it is for the preparation of teams and clubs for the upcoming Marist International 7s," he said.
The A.R.U. sevens series is set to run for two weeks on February 6 and 13. It is an open tournament for all the clubs or teams that want to participate.
"Every year, we are open to all clubs and teams who want to take part in our tournaments. For previous tournaments, other clubs such as Tepatasi, Marist, Tama Uli, and other teams have participated.
"At the moment we have 12 teams already registered. They are Vailele, Laulii Lions, Vaimoso, Moataa, Apia Maroons, United Brothers, Moamoa, and 3 teams from Vaiala Ulalei. However, we are expecting a few teams to register this week," he added.
According to Tafaoimalo, the players who were selected for the Manu Samoa 7s and the 15s dream teams are open to play in their respective clubs, unless there is an announcement to the contrary by the Manu Samoa 7s head coach, Muliaga [Brian Lima].
Tafaoimalo mentioned that Apia Rugby Union was one of the first unions to be established since rugby was introduced to Samoa and is proud of their history of producing great rugby talent.
"The Apia Rugby Football Union is the first union there was in Samoa, for many years they have been leading the development of rugby especially the players, not only for the Vaimauga and Faleata players but other sons of the country whose rugby career was molded here in our union.
"Over many years they have been the champions for the SRU tournaments called NPC, champions of the SRU Super IX since they started in 2017, for both Senior A and U20," he said.
"There are also a few legends of rugby who were selected from this very union, some former members of the Manu Samoa team, not only that but there were also coaches who were selected from the Apia Union who made the Manu Samoa champions of international tournaments. Such people like Fuimaono Titimaea Tafua, Stephen Betham, Rudy Leavasa, Viliamu Punivalu, and other names that I haven't mentioned.
"One of our members is the current coach for the Manu Sina 7s squad, Auimatagi Sapani Pomare and another one is Mailo Potu Leavasa, who are still working in the Samoa Rugby Union," he added.
He acknowledged the support from their sponsors.