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Rugby Academy of Samoa gears up for Hawaii

By Sarafina Sanerivi ,

Future stars of Samoan rugby are training hard for Hawai’i.

A squad of thirteen players from the Rugby Academy of Samoa (R.A.S) will represent Samoa at the Aloha World Sevens Tournament next month.

The tournament will take place in Oahu Hawaii on 22-24 of March.

Manager of R.A.S, Leituala Joe Chang Ting, said the preparations are on track.

“This is the second time we’ve been invited to participate in this tournament,” said Leituala.

“The first time we got the invitation, we didn’t go because it was expensive.”

“But they sent us another invitation for the Sevens tournament, and we thought, this would be a good opportunity for our boys to go and compete.”

The R.A.S. team will take on teams from New Zealand, Fiji and other countries.

“Those teams are also coached by some of the famous rugby stars,” said Leituala.

“Last year, the Fiji team that participated in this tournament was coached by Ben Ryan. Karl Te Nana coached the New Zealand team.

For Samoa, the training squad has been under the supervision of, Mase Mahonri Schwalger. He is being assisted by two former Manu Samoa Sevens stars, Lolo Lui and Fautua Otto, who have joined R.A.S to share their expertise.

“We are so blessed to have them on board to help us with coaching our players, especially with the experience they have in terms of Sevens, they have been helping our players a lot.”

“Lolo is leading our Sevens programme with the help from Fautua Otto and the support from our other coaches.”

As the team they will pick will represent the whole country, Leituala said they have been working really hard to make sure they pick the right squad to do the job.

“We are aware that we will represent Samoa. And we are not taking that lightly. We’ve been preparing for this tournament for a long time.”

“All the players that we will take are the ones from school.”

Leituala added that their ultimate goal is to build up a squad not only for this tournament, but also for the Youth Commonwealth Games.

Full article can be found in the Samoa Observer.

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