by Alan Ah Mu
APIA: THURSDAY 4 JULY 2013: Competition to steer Manu Samoa 7s back to glory is keen.
Applicants for the job to coach the team totaled 18 by deadline, Samoa Rugby Union media officer Rula Sua Vaai said.
Amongst them are former Manu players, former Manu coaches in 15s and 7s plus three non-Samoans from overseas, Vaai said.
SRU’s board of directors gathers in the weekend to appoint a panel to screen the applicants.
Drawing up a short list of applicants and interviews can be expected to start next week.
That process will include the seven applicants who’ve put their names forth to take over as assistant coach/manager of Manu 7s.
Stephen Betham, coach of the champion 2009/10 side, was re-called for the World Cup in Moscow this year.
But Betham got the job while coach of Manu Samoa 15s – and when 2012/13 coach, Tausa Fa’amaoni Lalomilo was sacked along with manager, Fataali’i Milovale Moke.
With advertisements for coach and assistant coach/manager for Manu 7s issued soon before the World Cup it was clear Betham’s assignment was a one-job one.
So was the appointment as assistant coach of Fata Pito Malifa for Moscow.
Tausa and Fataali’i won one leg in the IRB World Series this year, and their sacking indicated that such a success rate was not good enough – that SRU’s hunger for victory was grown bigger than in the past.
For Samoa’s trophy-less performance in the IRB World Series – though five finals were reached – halted only in the 2006/2007 season when Fuimaono Dicky Tafua’s side won the Wellington and Hong Kong legs.
Building on that Betham, with Tausa as assistant, Samoa claimed the World Series in 2009/2010 season.
SRU has indicated those are the results new coaches have to achieve or else.