APIA, SAMOA – 5 JUNE 2020: The Samoa Rugby Union (SRU) is gearing up to continue its local competition in August if given the green light from Government.
The ban on rugby under the COVID-19 State of Emergency lockdown was only lifted last week.
SRU’s Chief Executive Officer Faleomavaega Vincent Fepulea’i laid out the Unions program and plan for the next 6 weeks following the International Rugby Board’s urging for countries to look at ways to continue rugby domestic development under the current circumstances.
SRU has cancelled the Super Nines competition due to the lack of sponsorship and all other local competitions will resume in August for men and women.
Also cancelled is the Pacific Nations Cup (PNC) competition and the Under 20s competition in Spain
Faleomavaega said SRU is looking at starting afresh in August with the 7’s and 15 rugby competition to select players for the national teams.
“It is important to consider the welfare issues of players and they should have ample time to prepare,” he said.
Manu Samoa 7’s ready for the remaining IRB Seven’s legs
The Manu Samoa 7s team is in training and is ready for the remaining 4 legs of the IRB Seven’s competition in September if IRB allows the competition to go ahead, said Faleomavaega.
The remaining games are to be hosted in Hong Kong, Singapore, London and Paris.
“These countries were mostly affected by COVID-19 and we are awaiting IRB’s call hence the boys continuing preparations,” he said.
Search for Manu Samoa 15s and 7’s Coaches
The vacancies for the Head Coaches for the Manu Samoa 7s and 15s will be finalised at the end of this month.
“Vacancies have been advertised locally and internationally and once all applications are in then the committee will go through the final process.” said Faleomavaega.
The Rugby Academy unit will resume to train and prepare players for the national teams.
Seumanu Douglas Ngau Chun, Manager of the SRU High Performance Unit (HPU) said the academy will be in 2 divisions.
One is the Elite Players Pathway to select the potential and most qualified players. The other division is the Development Players Pathway to train and develop under 18 and 20 year old players. They will be selected by coaches and clubs in July.
Seumanu said all players will be ranked to make selection easier.
COVID-19 has contributed to the financial woes of many rugby unions internationally and SRU is no different and have asked IRB for financial assistance.
Faleomavaega said some countries have cut down on contracted player’s salaries due to the loss of competitions, but SRU is still paying its contracted players because there are not many of them.
Despite all rugby programs being upset by COVID-19, SRU is using the opportunity to plan ahead for major future activities such as the Rugby World Cup in four years time.