P.M. delves into Hilton’s unexpected resignation

Prime Minister and the Chairman of the Samoa Rugby Union, Tuilaepa Dr. Sa’ilele Malielegaoi, says the General Manager of the Union’s High Performance Unit, Zane Hilton, has probably got a “bigger offer” to work elsewhere.

Tuilaepa made the claim when his opinion was sought on the unexpected resignation by Mr. Hilton from his role within the S.R.U., merely a year after he started.

“He has probably been given other offers,” Tuilaepa said during his “Taimi ma le Palemia” programme on TV1.

“Right now when it comes to these kinds of roles, the salaries are quite significant. So we don’t know if he had only just started here when he got a bigger offer from somewhere else.”

Mr. Hilton started with the Samoa Rugby Union last year, with big plans to help the Manu Samoa during the Rugby World Cup.

But seven months away from the World Cup in Japan, Mr. Hilton submitted his resignation letter to the S.R.U. C.E.O., Faleomavaega Vincent Fepulea’i on Sunday 13th January 2019. 

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“I am formally writing to inform you of my resignation from the role of General Manager of High Performance for the Samoa Rugby Union effective immediately,” he wrote.  

“I would like to wish the Samoa Rugby Union and the Manu Samoa in particular all the best for the upcoming Rugby World Cup in Japan. It was an honour to work with this team.”

In a statement released by the Samoa Rugby Union, Faleomavaega said Samoa and World Rugby are working to review the management needs of the H.P.U. and the World Cup campaign.

“We respect Zane’s decision on what is best for him and his family,” Faleomavaega said. “We wish to acknowledge his huge contribution for the past 12 months and wish him well on his future endeavors.”

Contacted by the Samoa Observer for a comment, Mr. Hilton declined, referring all questions to Faleomavaega.

But Prime Minister Tuilaepa acknowledged Mr. Hilton’s contribution to Samoan rugby.

“He’s done a lot in his time here; I’ve never seen the H.P.U. gym so clean,” Tuilaepa said.

As for his decision to resign, Tuilaepa said: “I heard he was quite involved with the development of that famous team in Christchurch, the Crusaders, so he’s not a small man in terms of the fame.

“Maybe this was probably the only time he didn’t have a job and therefore came here to await another role. But that’s the nature of such roles, they are very competitive.”

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