The Samoa Rugby Union wants to send its men’s and women’s sevens teams to New Zealand ahead of the final Olympic qualifying tournament in Monaco.
The Manu Samoa men’s 7s team have not taken the field for 12 months after last season’s World Series was cut short because of Covid-19, while the Manusina women have been out of action since the Oceania Sevens Championship in November 2019.
Neither team has any matches scheduled before the Olympic qualifier in June.
Samoa Rugby Union high performance unit general manager Seumanu Douglas Ngau Chun said the government has applied for them to travel to New Zealand so they can get some much needed match-play before flying to Europe.
“So we’re waiting for New Zealand to give us the green light to travel,” he said.
“Our aim is we wanted to stay in New Zealand for a longer period and probably have matches with the New Zealand team and the Tongan team in New Zealand and then prepare ourselves for Monaco because there’s no other tournament to prepare both our teams for Monaco.”
Samoa are not a part of the Women’s World Sevens Series, which is scheduled to restart with back-to-back tournaments in May, while the men’s circuit does not restart until October.
“The men will be travelling to New Zealand once we get the ok and then then women’s team will be flying shortly after,” he said.
“We have six or seven boys that are waiting in New Zealand to join the current squad we have (in Samoa) and we also have roughly about eight ladies in New Zealand waiting for our team to fly over and able to put together a training squad in New Zealand and prepare for Monaco.”
Samoa in talks with Moana Pasifika
The Samoa Rugby Union said they have been involved in ongoing talks about the make-up of the Moana Pasifika team set to join an expanded Super Rugby competition next year.
The Fijian Drua and Moana Pasifika were announced in November as New Zealand Rugby’s preferred partners to join an expanded 12-team competition in 2022, subject to meeting a range of conditions.
SRU high performance unit general manager Seumanu Douglas Ngau Chun said they’ve been in close discussions with the Moana Pasifika bid since the start of the year about what role Samoa can play.
“It’s always good to have this platform available for us. We’re running a full-time academy and we’re hoping that we can use Moana Pasifika as a pathway for our players to get the exposure they need.”
Seumanu Douglas Ngau Chun said SRU chief executive Vincent Fepuleai’i and Manu Samoa coach Seilala Mapusua have also been involved in the discussions.