Former Manu Samoa players include Coach Fuimaono Titimaea Tafua, Mase Mahonri Schwalger, Tafilipepe Fineaso Aimaasu, Savae Laauli Sir Michael Jones, Loau Keneti Sio, Fesolai Vaaiga Tuigamala, Matamua Filipo Saena, Matafeo George Latu, George Stowers and Muliagatele Brian Lima.
APIA, SAMOA – TUESDAY 26 JUNE 2018: With a nine match losing streak, Manu Samoa needs a lot of motivation, encouragement and inspiration as it heads into the crucial World Cup qualifier against Germany at Apia in the weekend.
That motivation came this morning from some former Manu Samoa players led by the Minister of Sports, Loau Keneti Sio, former Coach Savae La’auli Sir Michael Jones, double international Fesola’i Va’aiga Tuigamala, Muliagatele Brian Lima, Matamua Filipo Saena, Matafeo George Latu and former skippers Mase Mahonri Schwalger and George Stowers.
A former three quarter who along with Brian Lima were labelled some of the hardest tacklers in the game, Loau told the players not to take the strong words by the Prime Minister personally as they were the words of a father to a son.
“We know you’re doing your best and you need to work together. We are all behind you. Give it all your best for country, parents and families as this is our only chance to qualify.”
Loau also offered some advice about the need to keep the Samoan flair which he said is not coached but a unique feature of the Samoan game that is fast disappearing. “Everything is now so structured and we have lost that individual flair,” he said.
Sir Micheal Jones emphasized to the players that this is their defining moment as they are at the crossroads.
“Yes we care about Samoan rugby, means a lot to us. We care for this team and for what each and every one is about. We have this wonderful bond and connection and that’s why we are here. There is a history and there’s a legacy.”
With mounting pressure on the players and management to win or forgo the World Cup, Sir Michael said being at the heights and in the dark valleys (of success) as a team is not a bad place.
“Because this is where your character as men is forged. This is your defining moment. We’re certainly at the crossroads. And it’s up to you to turn it.
“Your destiny is not in your parents or your wives or your children’s or the Prime Minsters’ hands. Your destiny is in your hands, individually and collectively.”
Skipper Chris Vui thanked the former players for their encouragement and boost to the morale of the team. He and also called on the fans and country’s support in this weekend’s match.