Manu Samoa Manager Namulau’uulu Sami leota and Head Coach Stephen Betham
APIA: SATURDAY 24 MAY 2014: Manu Samoa Head Coach Stephan Betham has named a 47 man squad for the upcoming Manu Samoa June 4 Test Series.
Samoa will play 4 tests starting with Japan in Tokyo 30 May, Tonga and Italy in Apia 7 and 14 June, and the last game against Fiji in Suva 21 June.
The squad has been extended to 48 players as the Japan test that is outside the IRB regulated window and the Samoan contracted professional players cannot be released by their clubs until the IRB Regulation 9 Player Release applies.
“The positive spin from the Japan match is that it gives an opportunity for other players to put their hands up and especially the local based players. It is also good for us to see how they will front up in the test level,” said Betham.
At this stage 24 players have been picked to play Japan and the rest of the team will assemble in Auckland as from the 25 May to prepare for the Tonga test. The team management will also be split and half will travel to Japan and the other half will manage the Camp in Auckland.
“The players picked to play Japan know that this is an opportunity for them to impress the selectors to be included in the 30 man squad for the remaining 3 tests,” said Betham.
From a local player development perspective, this will be the sternest test for the largest amount of locally based elite players from the High Performance program graduating into test rugby at any given time.
Two Super Franchise Coaches have recently joined the Manu Samoa management. They are Tom Coventry (Chiefs) as forwards coach and former Manu Samoa and All Blacks Namulauulu Alama Ieremia (Hurricanes) who will coach the backline. The two Super rugby coaches have been added to the management team at the request of Samoa Rugby Union to NZRU for assistance in their World Cup preparations.
Betham said that all preparations now are targeted towards the RWC 2015, and the inclusion of Super rugby Coaches has been a positive move.
“Coventry and Ieremia will no doubt bring in a wealth of experience and this is an exciting time for us and particularly with the RWC around the corner,” Betham said.
After the one off test with Japan at the end of the month, the team is expected to arrive in Samoa 1 June after for the home tests against Tonga and Italy.
The full squad:
Census Johnston, Toulouse, France
James Johnston, Saracens, UK
Sakaria Taulafo, Stade Français , France
Logovii Mulipola, Leicester Tigers, UK
Anthony Perenise, Bath Rugby, UK
Aniseko Sio, Vaimoso Rugby Club, Samoa
Jake Grey, SCOPA Rugby Club, Samoa
Sam Aiono, Counties Manukau ITM
Raymold Salu, Marist Samoa Rugby Club, Samoa
Ropeti Lafo, Marist Samoa Rugby Club, Samoa
Andrew Viliamu, Marist Samoa Rugby Club, Samoa
Tii Paulo, Clermont, France
Wayne Ole Avei, Bordeaux, France
Faatiga Lemalu, Sanixx Blues Japan
Maselino Paulino, Apia Rugby Club, Samoa
Kane Thompson, Chiefs, NZ
Teofilo Paulo, Cardiff Blues, Wales
Daniel Leo, Perpignan, France
Piula Faasalele, Casters, France
Levi Asi Faamatala, Vailele Rugby Club, Samoa
Faalemiga Selesele, Moataa Rugby Club, Samoa
Oneone Faafou, Vaiala Rugby Club, Samoa
Misioka Timoteo, Vaiala Rugby Club, Samoa
Lio Lolo, Apia Rugby Club, Samoa
Maurie Faasavalu, Harlequins, UK
Jack Lam, Hurricanes, NZ
Ofisa Treviranus, London Irish, UK
Faifili Levave, Hurricanes, NZ
Kahn Fotualii, Northampton Saints, UK
Jeremy Sua, Worcester Worriers, UK
Vavao Afemai, Vaiala Rugby Club, Samoa
Vaiofoga Simanu, Tepatasi Rugby Club, Samoa
Tusiata Pisi, Suntory, Japan
Patrick Fa’apale, Vaiala Rugby Club, Samoa
David Lemi, Worcester Worriers, UK
Tulolo Tulolo, Vaimoso Rugby Club, Samoa
Fautua Otto, Bristol UK
Reupena Levasa, Vailele Rugby Club, Samoa
Brando Vaaulu, Sunnybank Dragons, Australia
Kaino Fuataga, Vaiala Rugby Club, Samoa
Meki Magele, Marist Samoa Rugby Club, Samoa
Johnny Leota, Sale Sharks, UK
Alapati Leiua, Hurricanes, NZ
George Pisi, Northampton Saints, UK
Anitelea Tuilagi, Vaiala Rugby Club, Samoa
James Sooialo, Wellington ITM Tawa, NZ
Faatoina Autagavaia, Northampton Saints, UK
Namulauulu Sami Leota
Mailo Potu Leavasa
Namulauulu Alama Ieremia
Lilomaiava Taufusi Salesa
Strength & Conditioning Coaches
Michael Hugh Galvan
Karolina Doviverata Vunibaka
Vaaelua Aloi Junior Alesana