SPORTS: Sons follow fathers into national rugby colours

Samoa Under 20 posed for a photo after trainings yesterday. Photo by: Rula S Vaai SRU Media

Samoa Under 20 posed for a photo after training yesterday.
Photo by: Rula S Vaai (SRU Media)

APIA: Tuesday 04 15 May 2013: Dubbed the Baby Manu Samoa has literal meaning for some of the players named today in the national Under 20s rugby team.

Three of them stem from players of the legendary 1991 World Cup side.

Carisbrook To’omalatai has followed dad Paepae Stan into the front row in national colours, but Beau Birthwhistle is a loose forward unlike dad Mark who played lock; Natal is a lock while his father Malaki Iupeli was a bustling loose forward.

Ahead for the youngsters if Junior World Cup glory in June.

Coach Viliamu Punivalu had to reach overseas to fill in some key positions, namely open-side flanker, hooker, number eight, half back and fullback.

“We have managed to fill in some of the key positions … and I am now comfortable with the team that will represent Samoa,” said Punivalu.

 “It’s just a matter of making sure that they gel as a team,” he said.

“All our technical coaching plans are in place.”

The Under 20s team is a mixture of 16 locally based players and 12 Samoans who were born and raised overseas.

“It’s a good mix, given the fact that some key positions mentioned were sourced out of Samoa,” said Punivalu.

Last year’s runner up New Zealand leads Pool B against Ireland, Australia and Fiji.

Pool A boosts France, reigning champions South Africa, England and USA.

Samoa Under 20 National Team:

Front Row:-Sam Ah Sam, Travis Mauu, Carisbrook Toomalatai, Mike Sosene, Sebastian Siataga,Ezrah Amituanai, Andrew Broomhall.

Locks: Ben Chan, Natal Malaki, Brian Aliinuuese, Tofatuimoana Solia.

Loosies: Tofamamao Lemalu, Beau Birthwhistle, Mathew Elia, Elekama Laupola, Matt Peni.

Halfback : Rameka Uitime Paraki, Scott Malolua.

First Fives: Aj Alatimu, Calvary Fonoti

Midfields: Alefosio Tapili, Potoae Sasagi, Fomai Ah Ki, Olando Niko Malo

Wings: Jason Tagiilima, Samoa Toloa, Meilani Vai, Eti Slater.

Reserves: London Leuma, Elekana Su’a, Malcolm Muliaga, Jordan Pereira, Faatafa Maiava, Falanisisi Leuita, Harry Luteru.

Management: Head Coach Viliamu Punivalu, Assistant Coach Malo Nofoagatatau, Team Manager Andy Ripley, Match Doctor Dr Areta Samuelu, Physiotherapist Pat Moorer, Trainer Dan Peacork.

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