Damian McGrath, the coach of Samoa’s Rugby 7’s team, said that the team will be starting from scratch for the upcoming HSSBC World Sevens Series season.
This means that Samoa will be fielding a new team for the World Sevens. The Manu closed last season with a ninth place finish under new coach Damian McGrath. The squad played very well and had reached four quarterfinals out of the ten tournaments.
Damian said that the last year’s popular players Captain Falemiga Selesele and Hunapo-Nofoa will not be returning to the team this season. There are only three players left in the squad from last year and these are all home grown players. Most of the players from Samoa have gone to New Zealand and a few are discussing to get European contracts. He is looking to recruit new players into the team and to build a new team for the forthcoming World Sevens Series.
He acknowledged the fact that the team had been able to do well through the players based in New Zealand and hopes that this year too, he will be able to find out some gems from the island nation like Phoenix Hunapo-Nofoa. He is sure that there will be a few popular players that will be missed by the New Zealand system and he will be able to bring some to represent Samoa.
Phoenix is currently looking for gaining some Europe contracts and Damian is in constant touch with him. If Phoenix does not find a better option in Europe, he would return to Samoa. But, this is not the case with Falemiga and he has joined Hawkes Bay, the New Zealand province. He is not worried about the bygones and wants to look into the future. He would have loved to have retained some of the best players of the last season in Samoa’s squad, but now he is ready to move on and construct a new team before the event kick starts in December.