Manusina names squad to fight for World Cup place
The Manusina squad have been picked from far and wide to compete at the Oceania Championship and try get Samoa to the 2021 Rugby World Cup.
Players based in five different countries make up the squad of 28, who will travel to Lautoka, Fiji ahead of their first game against Papua New Guinea next Monday.
“The team is so diverse that in New Zealand alone, players are drawn from seven provincial unions,” coach Ramsey Tomokino said.
There are 10 new caps in the group, which returns 14 players from the triumphant Asia-Pacific Championship campaign in May and June.
Despite going undefeated at that tournament with wins over Hong Kong and Fiji, Tomokino is still embracing the underdog mentality given many of his players haven’t played together before.
Another win over Fiji along with victories over Tonga and Papua New Guinea would give the Manusina their first World Cup berth since 2014.
“I’m really proud of the players who have stepped forward to represent their culture and our people, we’re also under no illusion how tough this is going to be as everyone wants to go to the World Cup,” said Tomokino.
Australia A and a New Zealand Black Ferns Development XV are also competing, with their top sides having already qualified for the World Cup.
Samoa need to finish first among the other team to guarantee a place, or second to qualify for a repechage tournament.
The Oceania Championship will conclude on the 30th of November after four rounds of matches.
The Manusina Team for the Oceania Championship:
ALE Billy-Jean - Magiagi
APINERU Cynthia - Vaipuna, Leauva’a
*AUSAI Maria Jacinta - Mulifanua, Apolima Uta, & Satuimalufilufi
*AUVELE Mary - Palisi & Saanapu
FALESITA Josephine - Saipipi & Satoalepai
FATU Alafou – Sataoa, Safata & Vaisala
FIAFIA Linda - Magiagi
FOAESE Nina - Vailoa Faleata
GAGO Luisa - Avao & Fagaloa
LEAULA Saelua - Faiaai, Salamumu & Siusega
LIVE Marilyn - Gautavai, Matautu Lefaga
MAGELE Jhana - Magiagi, Vaigaga
*MAILAU Apaau - Saleaumua & Aleipata
*MALIGI Molly - Saleilua, Vaiusu, Iva, Mulifanua & Manono
MILO Bella - Solosolo & Salani
MOSE Sieni - Fagalii, Vaiala, Solosolo, Moata’a, Saleimoa
SAMAU TIMANI - Aigaevalu, Nofoalii
*SA'U Hope - Apolima, Leulumoega, Satupaitea, Vaimoso, Gagaifo
SA'U Mary-Lee - Apolima, Leulumoega, Satupaitea, Vaimoso, Gagaifo
SAVELIO Easter - Vailoa & Fa’ala Palauli
*SEUMALO Joanne - Leauva’a & Tuana’i
SIMATI Jennifer - Fasito’o Uta & Fatausi
*SOLAESE Alyce - Fa’ato’ia
*TAITO Elieta - Malie & Taufusi
TAUASA PAUARAISA Masuisuimatamaalii - Foailalo
TOO Tuiala - Ulutogia, Aleipata Fusi, Saoluafata, Falealupo
*VAIOUGA Margaret - Moata’a, Malaela, Aleipata, Fausaga Safata & Salelologa
*VAOTUUA Anna-Helen - Lotofaga and Afega
* denotes uncapped
TOMOKINO Ramsey – Head Coach – Saina, Tuanai & Tafatafa
TA'ALA-TIMALOA Cynthia – Assistant Coach – Pu’apu’a, Iva & Lelepa
FE’AUNATI Colossian – Assistant Coach – Fasito’o Uta, Leauvaa & Vailima
PALMER Sam – Strength and Conditioning Coach
LAM Elvera – Physiotherapist – Alafua, Satupaitea, Sapapali’I, Vailoa & Aleipata
BAKULICH Tauanu’u Nanai Nick – Manager – Vaovai & Fogatuli