New look Samoan sevens side head for England

Lance Polu

, Sports

APIA: 13 May 2011: A new-look Samoan Sevens team is heading to England for the final IRB Sevens leg with a firm eye on the future.

Samoa has trailed behind New Zealand and England throughout the season having failed to capture the form that saw them win their first ever World Series crown in 2010. Series leaders New Zealand is 34 points clear on the overall standings.

The experienced trio of Uale Mai, Fautua Otto and Lolo Lui have been ruled out of next week’s London event due to form and injury. Coach Stephen Betham says it provides and opportunity to blood some younger players.

Betham has been under criticism for keeping to his old squad when aging players such as Uale Mai have clearly shown he has been out of the pace.

Betham said it’s one thing to blood new players and its another to maintain the teams standing in the overall tournament points table and he has kept a balance between the old experienced players and the new blood.

“We do have some, few, seasonal players in there and I think it’s time we start looking at younger players and refocusing on our next goal,” said Betham.

He said he’s confident there’s enough local talent in Samoa to ensure the team will, once again, be up there competing with the top teams next season.