Falealupo youngster dreams big
A young player from Falealupo and Falelima, Savaii has made the cut for the wider Manu Samoa Sevens squad on the strength of his showing at the Vodafone Sevens.
The 22-year-old Marist St. Joseph’s player, Mo'omo'o Falaniko, said he is not going to waste the opportunity to display his abilities at the national level.
"I am thankful for this opportunity to be able to be in the training squad, it is an opportunity that I am fortunate to get and the others didn't,” he said.
“So it's not something that I should be proud of and think highly of myself, but it is an opportunity to show that I am worthy of this spot. However, if it wasn't for Marist St Joseph's I wouldn't be here.
“So thank you to our coaches and management for always doing their best to make sure that I am on the right track and for always bringing out the best in me.”
His parents are Ime and Falaniko Falaniko. He started playing from the Marist Brothers Primary school, Mulivai, before moving to New Zealand where he played for the Marist club in New Zealand.
He returned to Samoa and joined his current Marist Club.
"Rugby has always been my passion, it's something that has grown in me and I am aiming to develop in so many ways,” Falaniko said.
“The challenge on and off-field is the mindset [...] sometimes we cannot control our emotions but [that] is something that I have learnt to control over time.
“The training we do [is] really tough but it is how we can become successful.”
He lists Uale Mai as one of his favourite players in the sevens game and says he wants to model his own style of play after him.
"I have always played in the first-five position ever since I played in the sevens, but I always keep my eyes on Uale Mai,” he said.
“The techniques he uses and the skills he portrays on the field [are] very unique and I want to be just like him. I know it's not going to be easy but faith will keep me going”.