SRU announces $1m contract for Manu Samoa 7’s players


The contracted players with the sponsors and SRU officials at the announcement last night

By Lagi Keresoma

APIA, SAMOA – WEDNESDAY 22 NOVEMBER 2017:  The financially strapped Samoa Rugby Union has secured a $1million talā sponsorship to secure 14 players for the Manu Samoa Team for the 2017/18 season.

The sponsorship by the Samoa International Finance Authority (SIFA) and Blue Sky Samoa was announced last night with the names of the 22 players.

Each sponsor pledges $1 million talā in money and in-kind support.

“This is a huge financial incentive undertaken by the Union to ensure we keep our best players on island, and help provide support to their families whilst at the same time, free the players to focus clearly on performance,” said Union Chairman Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi.

The Union’s main challenge is the ability to gain and maintain sponsors through high level performance and results for rugby and the union to survive.

“Tonight I want to express our sincere gratitude to Blue Sky and SIFA for their belief and vision to partner with SRU and our Manu Samoa 7’s program for the next four years,” said Tuilaepa.

To boost the development of rugby, Tuilaepa said the Board and Management has left  no stone unturned to provide the best coaches in the business, widen the training spot and facilitate more tournaments to find and condition the  best players to gain Samoa a much needed push for results.

“To highlight the Union’s commitment, with the support of SIFA and Blue Sky and for the first time, we offer 22 fulltime contracted players in the 7’s program,” said Tuilaepa.

“To Sir Gordon and the team, our whole country is behind you and we wish you all the best for the upcoming tournament, as your commitment and passion match the support of our sponsors, stakeholders and government.

The SRU Chairman and the Manu Samoa Sevens Head Coach Sir Gordon Tietjens

Sevens Head Coach Sir Gordon Tietjens acknowledged the Government and country’s support and trust in his team.

“I won’t promise you victory, but promise that we will give it all our best,” said Sir Gordon.

Fifteen of the contracted players are based in Samoa while the other seven play their club rugby in New Zealand.

Of the 22 contracted players, 14 will play in the opening legs of the 2017/2018 tournament in Dubai and Cape Town later this month.

The Manu Samoa Sevens Team

Name                          Club                                        Village
Alamanda  Motuga     Manurewa                               Sataoa/Safata
Alatasi Tupou (C)        BBE Vaiala                                Vaipuna
Brody Lam                 Eden/Auckland                         Alafua
Darren Kellet              Ponsonby                                Vaivase
David Afamasaga       Auckland Marist                       Fasitoo-tai /Afega
Faalemiga Selesele     Moataa                                    Satupaitea
Fautia Otto                Vaimoso/Aana Chiefs               Saasaai/Safaatoa
Gordon Landkilde       Moataa/Aana Chief                  Satapuala
Jacob Ale                    Melville –NZ                             Malie/Iva
Murphy Penitito         Southern Tornadoes                Poutasi
Neria Fomai                Hastings Rugby & Sports        Magiagi /Lepuiai
Patrick Faapale           BBE Vaiala                               Vaipuna
Samoa Toloa               Sasaai                                      Mulifanua/Sasaai
Silao Nonu                  Apia Maroons                          Lano
David T.Faiala             Puatoo/Aana Chiefs                 Vailuu tai
Tila Mealai                  Apia Maroons                         Lalomanu
Totalu Solia                 Southern Tornadoes                Malaemalu
Lafaele Va’a                 Vailele                                      Vailele
Malu Falaniko             BBE Vaiala/Aana Chiefs            Lano/Sasaai/Fasitoo-tai
Tom Iosefo                  Tepatasi                                   Lefagaoalii
Tomasi Alosio              Hutt Old Boys                         Levi Saleimoa/Falefa
Joe Perez                     Marist Samoa                          Vaigaga