Samoa Rugby

Dan Leo’s ‘Oceans Apart’ rugby film receives global support

Dan Leo- who is the founder of the Pacific Rugby Players Welfare, traveled to the UK to interview Pacific islands rugby players and the former greats in Samoa, Fiji and Tonga.

The film was released on Monday, titled ‘Oceans Apart: Greed, Betrayal and Pacific Island Rugby’.

The film highlights the struggles Pacific islands teams face together with the players.

Celebrity chef, Phil Vickery also reacted to the film and shared the preview on his Twitter account saying “For everyone who loves our game this is truly emotional please watch and share.”

Tonga and Samoa keen to be back on the field

The match was meant to take place in Apia in April but was postponed due to Covid-19.

A final date and venue is yet to be confirmed but RNZ Pacific understands the qualifying match will be held on November 14th at the 2021 World Cup venue Waitakere Stadium.

Tonga assistant coach, Sione Pulu, said their squad is excited to get back on the field again after a dramatic campaign which involved a measles outbreak, visa entry complications and a global pandemic. (links)

"I think we're still lucky it's going ahead," he said.

Ex-international admits scary encounter with Alesana Tuilagi still haunts him five years later

Ex-Tigers and Samoa winger Alesana, who won 38 Test caps (37 for the Samoans and one for Pacific Islands), was one brother from the iconic family that had a long history of making the life of wingers or fly-halves – many of whom were half his size – a living hell. 

While it was unfortunate for some players to encounter him, that was ultimately their job and former Canada winger Phil Mackenzie has now shared memories of the occasion when he thought it was a good idea to square up to Tuilagi.

Rapid Rugby an opportunity for Pacific players

Fijian Latui coach Senirusi Seruvakula said the team had spent the last three weeks in camp focused on fitness, defence and mastering the competition's modified rules, which included 35 minutes halves, no gain in ground when kicking directly to touch and nine point "power tries" for attacks launched from within a team's own 22.

"Last week we were working on the rules for the GRR and everyone's understanding, to understand the rules very well and now we are excited for our first game against China [Lions] on Saturday."

Fiji, Samoa make changes for Vancouver 7s

Tuimaba arrived home yesterday morning to join his family who are mourning the loss of his grandfather, who the Yasawa speedster attributes much of his rugby and professional success to.

Ikanikoda sustained a high grade ankle injury in the Monday's Cup final defeat by South Africa in Los Angeles.

Fiji coach Gareth Baber said the squad was fortunate to have enough depth that he could call upon replacements without disruption to their preparation for Canada.

Samoa, Fiji men make winning start at Dubai 7s

The Manu 7s wore a black armband in their opening match against Canada to honour the victims of the measles epidemic which has taken more than 60 lives back in Samoa.

Sir Gordon Tietjens' side conceded two first half tries but responded in kind through Paul Scanlan and Tofatu Solia to go into the half-time break all square at 12-all.

'Both teams wanted to play' - World Rugby defends pitch decision in Samoa

The global governing body has come under fire from some quarters after Samoa’s win over Tonga was played in dire weather conditions, with water pooling in some sections of t

Tonga centre Cooper Vuna and second row Sam Lousi have both taken to social media since the game to express their frustrations at what became something of a mudbath.

“Shoutout to World Rugby for signing off the field for us to play on today,” wrote Lousi, who has signed for Pro14 side Scarlets ahead of the new season, on Twitter.

Poor ground conditions a concern for former Manu Samoa lock Daniel Leo

Leo, who is the Player Welfare Manager for Pacific players based in Europe, raised his concern on social media directly to World Rugby about the poor ground set up at Apia Park in Samoa.

Leo made the comment following the PNC clash between Manu Samoa and Tonga.

 Heavy rain had affected the ground conditions and players were covered with mud during the game.
In his tweet today, Leo stated “Would England Rugby, All Blacks, Springboks or any Tier 1 team agree to playing on this? Then why is it acceptable for us poor nations?”

Samoa strike as ill-discipline proves costly for Tonga

Tonga, already hampered by the late withdrawal of the inspirational Nasi Manu, had two players in the sin-bin when Afasetiti Amosa and then Belgium Tuatagaloa swung the game Samoa's way with tries in the closing minutes.

Torrential rain before kick-off reduced Apia Park to a quagmire which impacted on the game as a spectacle despite a willingness by both sides to throw the ball around.

Manu Samoa ready for Tonga, Fiji look to defend Pacific Cup

Steve Jackson said he's been impressed by the players efforts in training, despite concerns about match fitness.

He said Saturday's home match in Apia was more than just an opener for the Manu, and they were rearing to showcase what they've got.

"Not only do we need to put in a performance on the field that we are going to be happy with, but it is so important that this is our one and only home test in Apia," Jackon said.

"You know, we could go out there and put on a display for our community ... and it will build some confidence in us moving through the PNC."