Manu Samoa's Olympic squad named

By Shalveen Chand 09 July 2024, 4:30PM

A debutant and a Moana Pasifika regular have been named by Manu Samoa sevens head coach Muliagatele Brian Lima for the Olympic Games.

The lineup sees the selection of Lalomilo Lalomilo and the return of Alamanda Motuga set to bolster a squad that was riddled with injuries and in dire need of an x-factor component to propel the team forward.

Additionally, the team welcomes back Vaovasa Afa Su’a, Paul Scanlan, BJ Telefoni Lima and Tom Maiava who have recovered from injuries sustained recently.

The captain’s responsibility has been given to the hard-working Vaa Apelu Maliko who has returned home as promised to fulfill Olympic duties. The once DHL Impact Player of the Year will be counted upon to create the gaps and lead by example.

This will be the first time the Manu Samoa Sevens play in an Olympic Games having failed to qualify for the last two.

In an interview last year, Muliagatele said the team was working towards an Olympic medal. This promise has been overshadowed by the team’s dismal performance in the last season of the World Sevens Series where they were relegated.

Samoa is in Pool B, alongside Australia, Argentina and Kenya. Samoa will kick off its campaign on Thursday 25 July at 2:30am against Australia (Samoan local time).

Pool A has New Zealand, Ireland, Japan and South Afica. In Pool C, Fiji, France, USA and Uruguay will fight for the right to advance.

The team: Vaafauese Apelu Maliko, Motu Opetai, Taunuu Niulevaea, Alamanda Motuga, Bj Telefoni Lima, Vaovasa Afa Su’a, Neueli Leitufia, Paul Scanlan, Tom Maiava, Paul Eti Alesana-Slater, Lalomilo Lalomilo, Steve Onosai, Faafoi Falaniko, Malakesi Masefau.

By Shalveen Chand 09 July 2024, 4:30PM
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