The Manu Samoa may have had a dismal campaign in the Northern Hemisphere Tour but players are reaping the benefits for their individual performance on the international stage.
Recently, Manu Samoa debutant , Chris Vui signed to the Worcester Warriors and hooker Elia Elia has been signed to the Harlequins.
Manu Samoa Head Coach, Namulauulu Alama Ieremia, weighed in on their new contracts and what it means to the team.
He stated, “It’s great to the fact that, it’s always a challenge to get quality players, quality tours for our players. For them to get contracts at the next level is great. It’s great for their development and very important for us moving forward. I’m very happy to see the players get those opportunity.”
Although the contracts are great news, hopefully the players will not forget their first commitment to the Manu Samoa.
Namulauulu state, “The key is to get the alignment to make sure that when they come back to Manu Samoa, they’re in a fitness stage and a game state that’s going to help the country, I think that’s really important. We keep a very high monitoring system around our players, so they understand the expectations once they come back for the National team.”
“I think it’s really important that we keep all that into perspective and really the expectations as well. Tier 2 is very competitive now and also where we get our players , the recruitment process has to be really spot on now because a lot of our overseas players are all locked in contractually and its really about forming relationships and making sure we get the right people in the right positions moving forward. Especially with the depth we’re trying to build.”
D’Agnelo, I ‘m very positive, I had a very high expectation of them. There was a reason why they were selected on the team and I was very happy he showed that on tour. D’Angelo Leiula is obviously a young promising first five that we’ve tried to blood in the first year and he done really well and stepped up really quickly.
We’ve also got Elia Elia and Chris Vui, the new boys who’ve come through. A lot of the new players stood up. Some of them struggled but it’s to be expected.
Namulauulu also commented on the local debutants who went
“It was a big learning curve for them in terms of the next level up. We took three local players, I think they learned very quickly that the next level is a few levels up then what we’re used to on the island. But that’s to be expected, the important thing is what they do and what are the learning’s for them moving forward because Manu Samoa only get together a few times a year.
“We’ve got to make sure we build the team forwad and obviously the key target is qualifications next year in June. That’s where I’m looking and that’s the real key tournament for us moving forward.”