Rulla Su’a Vaai,
SRU Media Officer
APIA: 3 June 2011: With little less than 3 months before the Rugby World Cup 2011 kicks off in New Zealand, the countdown begins for Manu Samoa’s Head Coach, Fuimaono Titimaea Tafua, with the steady arrival of Samoan overseas based players this week.
“We will be using, the Pacific Nations Cup, The International test match with the Australian Wallabies, including two home fixtures against the Western Force to finally select a Manu Samoa Rugby World Cup team,” says Fuimaono.
Manu Samoa is expected to be in camp 20 June, where Head Coach, Fuimaono will analyze his players for the daunting challenges ahead. “My initial concern at this stage will be to assess minor injuries sustained to a few players returning from abroad, which I’m sure will be under control within the next three weeks.”
Fuimaono and his coaching staff will be focusing on fine tuning player fitness levels. “According to reports from the boy’s respective club coaches, there are a few players that need to improve their fitness levels, which we will be monitoring over the next few weeks,” Fuimaono added.
The Head Coach said the Manu Samoa’s selection will be a mixture of local and overseas players. A crop of enthusiastic local players will be looking to supplement seasoned European and New Zealand based professionals in what would be an arduous campaign geared towards affirming Samoa’s reputation as a competitive Rugby nation at the highest level.
Samoa pools with defending World Cup Champions, South Africa, Wales, Namibia, and Fiji in Pool D.
Samoa has competed in the last five Rugby World Cups after missing out on the inaugural event in 1987 when Fiji and Tonga represented the Pacific Islands.
The team made the quarter-finals in 1991 and 1995 only to lose to Scotland and South Africa respectively.
The Manu Samoa 15’s Training Squad:
Hookers: Mahonri Schwalger, Tii Paulo, Mikaele Tuuu, Steve Fualau, and Ole Avei.
Loosehead Props: Sakaria Taulafo,Simon Lemalu, Kas Lealamanua, Logovii Mulipola.
Tighthead Props: Census Johnston, Anthony Pereise,Naama Leleimalefaga, James Johnston.
Locks: Kane Thompson, Filipo Levi, Daniel Leo, Joe Tekori, Jonathan Faamatuainu.
Openside Flanker: Ray Ofisa, Manaia Salave’a, Ofisa Trevaranius.
Blindside Flanker: Maurie Faasavalu, Ezra Taylor, Tasina Tuifua
No 8: George Stowers, Henry Tuilagi, Alafoti Faosiliva
Halfback: Kahn Fotualii, Junior Poluleuligaga, Brenton Helleur, Uale Ma’i, Thomas Tusitala.
1st 5/8: Tasesa Lavea, Tusi Pisi, Faatonu Fili, Roger Warren
Midfield: Seilala Maposua, George Pisi, Johnnu Leota, Eliota Sapolu, Fautua Otto, AneteleaTuilagi, Taputoa Rea, Herman Porter, Timoteo Iosua, Christopher Victor Slade.
Wings: Alesana Tuilagi, Sailosi Tagicakibau, David Lemi, Sinoti Sinoti, Alapati Leiua
Fullback: Paul Williams, Ahsee Tuala, Apoua Stewart.