SRU Chairman backs Manu Samoa Coach

Samoa Rugby Union Chairman and Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi has spoken out in support of Manu Samoa Coach, Namulauulu Alama Ieremia despite a four-game losing streak.

In his weekly Taimi ma le Palemia television program with TV1, Tuilaepa said it would be abnormal not to blame the coach especially when it comes to the Manu Samoa.

“And the Coach is always the one facing the barrel of the gun,” he added.

“When the supporters are happy the coach is the hero. When Manu Samoa loses, the coach is treated as a villain and the target of criticisms.”

But in the case of Namulauulu, the SRU Chairman is convinced that the former Manu Samoa center, who played five test games for Samoa debuting in 1992 has a lot to give to the country’s team.

“He (Namulauulu) has a lot to offer and from his strategic plan I am confident that a lot of good things will happen to the Manu Samoa under his coaching leadership,” added Tuilaepa.

“There are times that we must accept both the good and the bad results to produce better and excellent results.

“And as we all know it, when it comes to our Manu Samoa it is more than our flag carrier but represents our sports passion and identify as among the best sports achievers in the world.”

To that effect, Tuilaepa says that that the SRU Board is also analyzing the results to determine where the Manu Samoa went wrong during its last four outings.

But was quick to note that some of the senior players need to step down and allow the new ones to blood in as a lead up to the World Cup.

“It’s a huge ask but that’s reality and its needs to be addressed if Manu Samoa will field the best of the best in the 2019 World Cup in Japan,” noted the SRU Chairman.

And there is hope still for the Manu Samoa to qualify for the World Cup.

The first route will be a home and away elimination playoff against a team from the Europe 2 region. 

Russia and Romania are seen as two of the most likely matchup for the Manu Samoa next June. If so either Russia or Romania will host the Manu Samoa and in return will play at Samoa’s hunting grounds at the Apia Park.

The other qualifying option if the Manu Samoa missed out again is the repechage round with Spain, Portugal, and qualifiers from North Africa and South America.

Subsequently, Manu Samoa has a northern hemisphere tour in November to play Romania, Scotland and England to close out the rugby season for this year.


Photo supplied by MPMC. Caption: Manu Samoa Coach Namulauulu Alama Ieremia.