The Manu Sina are excited to get their Oceania Rugby Womens 15s Championship started against Papua New Guinea this afternoon.
The match is their first since the Women’s Rugby World Cup in August 2014.
Coach Ramsey Tomokino said his team are just grateful to be able to play.
“This window of opportunity has opened up, now it’s up to us to produce the results.”
He said there’s been a good culture and positive vibes around the team, which came together on Tuesday.
“We had an impromptu introductory session where each girl stood up in front of the others and shared their story.
“It was priceless, everyone talking about the pride they had to play for Samoa.
“Lots of tears and love flowing, it was really heartwarming.”
Just two players in today’s 23 have previous international experience.
“The players who’ve been here before say this camp has been refreshing,” Tomokino said.
“Everyone has gelled quickly.”
Tomokino said training has been about getting the basics right, and making sure the scrum and lineout function properly.
“Lot of learnings this week, there’s a lot of info the girls have had to take in,” he said.
With limited footage on first opponents Papua New Guinea, coach Tomokino said the week as been “more about us”.
“After having seen Tonga and Fiji play we’ll be able to tailor a game plan for the next matches.”
The games will be livestreamed through Oceania Rugby’s website.
“It will mean a lot to the girls to know people are watching,” Tomokino said. “They’re all proud to represent Samoa and their families.”
The Oceania Rugby Women’s Championship will be played again next year, becoming an annual tournament for the first time.
There is talk of further promotion for women’s rugby in the region, through crossover tournaments with Asia and fixtures against Australia and New Zealand A sides.
“There are lots of things being floated,” Tomokino said.
“It’s an exciting time and we can’t wait to get out there this week.”
Manu Sina team:
1. Cynthia Apineru
2. Inga Timani
3. Jacqui Aiono
4. Mary-Lee Sa’u
5. Taylah Hodson-Tomokino
6. Marilyn Live
7. Sui Pauaraisa (Captain)
8. Nina Foaese
9. Tuiala To’o
10. Aiesha Smalley
11. Lumepa Maiava
12. Billy Jean Tuavale-Ale
13. Josephine Falesita
14. Sieni Tusi Misi
15. Sieni Mose Aviata Samau
16. Hayley Pilato
17. Jennifer Simati
18. Brittany Le’au’anae
19. Moega Wright
20. Viviena Hingano
21. Alafou Fatu
22. Lorina Papali’i
23. Osooso Feaunati