Mahonri Schwalger in action and leading Manu Samoa as captain
APIA, SAMOA – SATURDAY 13 MAY 2017: Former Manu Samoa captain Mahonri Schwalger has today been appointed the Samoa Under 20 Head Coach.
A statement from SRU Chief Executive Officer, Faleomavaega Vincent Fepuleai said Schwalgers’ appointment follows the resignation of Junior Leota who coached the team in the recent Oceania tournament in Australia.
Schwalger has worked with the Under 20s team as technical advisor and will step up into the Head Coach role and lead the baby Manu’s World Rugby Under 20’s to the World Championship in Georgia at the end of this month.
Faleomavaega Vincent Fepuleai said Leota’s resignation was unfortunate but continuity was important for the squad’s chances for success at the World Cup following the Oceania tournament in Australia last week. SRU appreciated the effort that Junior Leota has given the campaign.
“We know that Mahonri’s appointment will be welcome by many especially given his experience and current work with young players.
“We are grateful to Samoan fans, and to the players and their families for their continued commitment to ensuring the Under 20s can have the best chance to succeed.
“The Oceania tournament was a great opportunity to blood in new players, and to test players in a tough tournament environment, which they will experience in Georgia.
“Mahonri is now working closely with Manu Samoa’s Head Coach, Namulauulu Alama Ieremia to confirm their campaign programme, and work with the final selected players for the World Championship.
“We have spoken with the players this week and they understand the change, and have committed to getting behind Mahonri to demonstrate that Samoa can produce excellent young talent,” Faleomavaega said.
Namulauulu Alama Ieremia said the Under 20s programme was an important part of building Samoa’s future talent.
“With World Cup Japan 2019 just two years away, this Under 20s programme is a crucial part of our plan to build depth and develop talent for the future,” he said.
“Our focus now is to support this U20’s campaign and this talented group of players.”
“We are grateful to the players for their continued support of Mahonri as he steps up to this new role,” he said.