Samoa Rugby Hosts 2011 World Cup Brainstorming Workshop

APIA: 28 Sept 2009 – In an innovative step aimed at maximizing its preparations for the 2011 Rugby World Rugby Cup in New Zealand, the Samoa Rugby Union invited stakeholders and individuals who have served and contributed to the game over the years, to a Manu Samoa 2011 Rugby World Cup planning workshop at the High Performance Unit,U.S.P Alafua Campus on Friday 25th.

“The importance of engaging all available avenues possible to optimize our strategic approach over the next two years is crucial,” says Samoa Rugby Union CEO Sua Peter Schuster, who considers the workshop as a key stepping stone for the Manu Samoa and its preparations moving forward.

“The key was to attain an honest and open exchange from all in attendance, with a view to channel this valuable feedback towards collectively building a successful platform for the Manu Samoa over the next two years.”

The Samoa Rugby Union Rugby Services Manager, Tuala Mathew Vaea, who was tasked with managing the feedback attained from today’s workshop, commented on the envisaged plan and joined Su’a’s praises on the workshop’s success.

“The objective was to arrive at an agreed and appropriate consensus on the desired playing style and shape needed by the Manu Samoa, to achieve better success on the field and to accomplish the SRU strategic goals in advancing further up the International Rugby rankings. Given this concept, we’re encouraged with today’s outcome and overwhelmed by the enthusiastic contribution by everyone. We will now look at merging all this invaluable feedback into a soluble work plan for analysis and implementation.” said Tuala.

The forum was opened by Samoa Rugby Union President, Tuiloma Pule Lameko, where during the course of the day, attendees were presented with an array of discussion topics and modules ranging from current Player assessments and thought on factors contributing to these areas to an analysis discussion focusing on coaching. Administrative management was also discussed, all in which were eagerly debated amongst all. “In order to attain a more constructive opinion from our stakeholders, it was important to provide as much relative stimuli in context to the current situation of the game in Samoa as well as globally, which not only encompasses the physical properties of Rugby, but an understanding of the administrative dynamics of the sport” says Su’a.

Among the many in attendance was former Manu Samoa player, coach and current member of Parliament Muagututi’a George Meredith, who was elated with the initiative “ This is timely in terms of the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand virtually around the corner” Muagututia said “ Its time to dwell less on issues of past, and focus on moving forward. For me, it’s about our players recognizing the qualities that makes playing for this country special – pride in your self, your village and God, these are the foundations that has forged the Manu Samoa spirit” Muagututia explains. He further added the need to rediscover the competitive edge against Tier 1 nations “From memory, the last time we beat a tier one nation was at the Rugby World Cup in 1991, now that’s far too long in between!’. Others in attendance who aptly contributed to discussions were Seiuli Paul Wallwork, Tuala Karanita Enari and representatives from the Samoa Rugby Associations in New Zealand and Australia; Aiolupotea John Roache and Francis Betham. Toleafoa Mara Coffin-Hunter from the Samoa Women’s Rugby Association was also on hand, as well as the technical advisor for the Manu Samoa at the Pacific Nations Cup this year, Aussie McClean. All agreed by the end of the day, the need for further workshops.

“I commend the Samoa Rugby Union for the given opportunity to contribute to something that we all hold dear, and hope these workshops continue,” said Muagututi’a George Meredith.

The Samoa Rugby Union will now look at presenting another Planning workshop in the near future, in light of today’s success, Su’a finally adds, “This has been of immense benefit to the Samoa Rugby Union, and of course the Manu Samoa. We value the feedback of stakeholders and those who have contributed to this great game over the years, and today is recognition to all here today who share a common passion for the Manu Samoa and its pursuits at the Rugby World Cup.”