The Manu Sina 7’s team held their first trial at the Samoa Rugby Union fields to select a team for the Oceania Sevens in Fiji from November 9-10.
Team Manager, Toluiva Keneti Alapati said 20 players have been selected from the local sevens competition this year.
“This is the third week of the Manu Sina preparation and this is the first trial, so after this trial, we will then select 15 players to continue with the trials until we have the final team for the Oceania.”
“The final trial is where we will select the 12 players who will represent Samoa in the Fiji tournament.”
Ms. Alapati said the selection of the team will be based on the players’ performance.
“So the girls performances in each positions from the forwards and the backs, so that’s exactly where the coach and us the trainers are looking at for them to get fitter, faster and stronger,” she said.
“So those are the only three words that we are using to select the team to take to the Oceania, and that is exactly what we are working on in these six weeks of training.”
Ms. Alapati said the trial is also another way of helping the girls get fitter and stronger.
“As you can see, 7’s is a fast base game, so that’s the only way to go against the other teams, is for them to get fit and when they are fit they get stronger and they can make good decisions and able to score points,” she said.
“Our mission for the Oceania because Fiji, New Zealand and Australia are already in the top eight of the women’s series, and so in the ranking, whichever team wins fourth place in this will get the chance to go to the Women’s Series next year in Hong Kong and that is our aim.”
“We want to get there and for us to get there we have to get good results.”
Six teams will be competing in the upcoming tournament and if the team is ranked fourth, they will have the chance to play in the next tournament in Australia and the Hong Kong tournament.
The team plays Papua New Guinea in their first match before going up against Australia, and they must win both game.
“This is the first time ever we were able to put together a team made up of local players,” Ms. Alapati said.
“We are also giving the opportunity for the girls based overseas, who want to join the team and are willing to pay for their own air fares, to fly over and train together with the girls here.”
“We are not stopping anyone, so if they want to come then they are more than welcome to try out.”