New Manu Samoa coach announced on overseas media first

The former Blues Assistant Coach, Steve Jackson expected to be announced by SRU as the new Head Coach: Photosport

Staff Reporters

APIA, SAMOA – THURSDAY 20 SEPTEMBER 2018: The appointment of the Head Coach of Samoa’s National Rugby Team, Manu Samoa was announced early this afternoon on the overseas media.

The former Blues Assistant Coach, Steve Jackson, was named as the new coach of the national team on Radio New Zealand.

The Samoa Rugby Union CEO, Faleomavaega Vincent Fepulea’i confirmed the appointment with Radio New Zealand.

The local media were expecting the announcement to be made in Samoa first as the much awaited decision follows the much publicized sacking of former Coach Fuimaono Titimaea Tafua, eleven months to the World Cup in Japan.

The CEO said more than 40 people applied for the position from all over the world including South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.

He said it was narrowed down to a shortlist of four which included, the now former coach Fuimaono Titimaea Tafua, who was the only local applicant.

The sacking of Tafua and the new appointment explains the Samoa Union giving in to the World Rugby’s process that refused to pay for former Coach Tafua’s salary that cost the SRU $130,000.

The Union appointed Tafua ahead of the interviewing panel’s recommendation resulting in the differences with World Rugby.

Union Chairman Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi admitted that the Union needs the funding from World Rugby for its $10m annual budget.

Former Manu Samoa player Daniel Leo of the Pacific Rugby Players Welfare Group

SRU is also seeking a seat on World Rugby’s Executive Council and giving in to the processes including tidying up its accounts and constitution is part of this effort.

The Oceania Rugby that represents 12 countries in the region and holds just two of the 48 council seats.

Former Manu Samoa player Daniel Leo of the Pacific Rugby Players welfare group said the Pacific Unions are afraid to speak up about this imbalance because they rely on World Rugby Funding.

“We’ve seen it with Samoa sacking their coach because World Rugby wouldn’t fund it because they didn’t believe in the integrity of the appointment process,” Leo said.