Samoa needs to grow rugby locally, says World Cup Ambassador
Rugby World Cup Ambassador, Rodney So’oialo, Prime Minister Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi and New Zealand Deputy High Commissioner Mike Walsh
By Lagi Keresoma
APIA, SAMOA – SATURDAY 15 JULY 2017: With the recent performances by both the national rugby teams, Manu Samoa 15 and Manu Samoa 7’s, it is obvious that changes need to be made. But what those changes are, the Samoa Rugby Union (SRU) is not saying.
However, the Rugby World Cup Ambassador, former All Blacks Rodney So’oialo said that change is for Samoa is “to grow rugby from the ground level.”
“I truly believe they need to start building from the ground and can’t rely too much on people from overseas,” said So’oialo.
He said rugby needs to be developed locally and that is one of the reasons why he is in Samoa – to launch the “Quick Rip” programme where rugby is taught from a very young age. The programme is being launched today at the World Cup qualifier between Manu Samoa and the Flying Fijians at Apia Park and where the Webb Ellis cup is on display.
“Build it locally and if we could stimulate the kids now to enjoy rugby, learn a little bit more from that, I think that is the way we can go forth with,” said So’oialo.
He said that is the system used by New Zealand and they are really good at that because they play when they were very young.
“Once we get the combination and rugby right, Samoa will actually be good,” he said.
So’oialo is currently the coach for the Wellington Lions.
In a brief ceremony yesterday, Prime Minister and SRU Chairman, Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi acknowledged the Rugby World Cup Quick Rip initiative, and thanked them for bringing the Ellis Cup to Samoa which will be displayed at Apia Park during the Fiji and Samoa match.
So’oialo said this is an opportunity to promote healthy living and working together in partnership with SRU in promoting and understand healthy life.
SRU is encouraging families to bring their children to participate in the programme.