Manuma Samoa is based in Apia at the Samoa Rugby Union headquarters. Its squad predominantly includes players based in Samoa and Samoan-eligible players based in Australia and New Zealand. The team is separate from the team that participated as Kagifa Samoa in the Pacific Showcase in 2019.
The Samoa Rugby Union has taken up the reigns for this new Manuma Samoa team for its participation in the inaugural Global Rapid Rugby tournament in 2020. They open their campaign against the South China Tigers in Perth on March 14.
Apia Park Stadium – A multi-function sports complex in the Samoan capital that has a capacity of 12,000 and is used primarily for rugby union events. The complex also has adjacent tennis courts.
Royal blue shirts, shorts and socks with white and sky blue trim.
What CEO, Faleomavaega Vincent Fepuleai has to say about Global Rapid Rugby
“This is one of the most exciting developments in international rugby in recent years and will contribute to the growth of the game in Asia and the Pacific region.
“We are very excited by the prospects that Global Rapid Rugby holds for both our organisation and our players, who have much to gain through the exposure that this new tournament will provide.
“We feel privileged to be a part of the event and look forward to it going from strength to strength in years to come”.
Coach: Muliagatele Brian Lima
Brian Lima was the head coach of the Samoa A team for the past three years – 2017 to 2019. He is a household name in the world of rugby, famously known as “The Chiropractor” for his bone-crunching hits on the field. He held the record as the youngest player to be part of a Rugby World Cup team – at 19 years of age being part of the legendary Manu Samoa team that defeated Wales in the 1991 Rugby World Cup. In 2011, Brian Lima was inducted into the IRB Hall of Fame.
What can we expect to see from Manuma Samoa according to coach Brian Lima
“I like to see the ball moved around to create space that we can punch through, but I’m just as likely to keep it all moving with our pack.
“The laws of the Global Rapid Rugby tournament encourage running rugby so that is exactly what we will try to do.”
“We have been working hard on fitness, as we know the game will be faster-paced than normal, as well as our distribution skills and defence. If we can minimise handling errors and lapses in discipline then we should be able to get our momentum going and be formidable. Our squad is a mixture of local Samoan rugby players who ply their trade in the Samoan domestic rugby competition, the “Super Lakapi (Rugby in Samoan)” as well as Samoan players in NZ and Australia, most of whom have been through our domestic competition or our Samoa A squad in the past few years, so we are excited to test their limits at a higher level.”
Players to watch
Tila Mealoi – inside centre/fullback A regular in the Manu Samoa 7’s, Tila Mealoi has decided to try his hand at fifteens. With deceptive speed and great playmaking skills, he will bring flair to Manuma Samoa’s attack.
Patrick Fa’apale – flyhalf Patrick is a dependable flyhalf with a solid attacking game and is known to control the game well with his kicking abilities. He made his debut for Samoa in 2014 and was part of the squad at the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
Malu Falaniko – wing Malu is a quick and fleet-footed wing with great potential. He has represented Samoa at Under-20 level, played two Tests for Samoa in 2016, and has also played for the Manu Samoa 7’s.
Callum Adams – lock Based in New Zealand, Callum plays for Counties Manukau . A solid ball-carrier, he played for Samoa A in the Americas Pacific Challenge in 2017.
Afa Aiono – hooker Afa is a wily and experienced hooker who will bring stability to the Samoa scrum. He earned eight Test caps for Samoa between 2009 and 2012 and was part of the Manu Samoa campaign in 2019.
March 14 vs South China Tigers in Perth
March 21 vs Western Force in Apia
March 28 vs Malaysia Valke in Kuala Lumpur
April 11 vs China Lions in Apia
April 19 vs Fijian Latui in Suva
April 24 vs Western Force in Perth
May 1 vs South China Tigers in Hong Kong
May 8 vs Malaysia Valke in Apia
May 17 vs China Lions in Rotorua
May 23 vs Fijian Latui in Apia
Did you know?
Manuma in Samoan refers to a colourful fruit dove that is found in Samoa.