Lakapi Samoa and SASNOC have officially announced the representatives for Team Samoa Men’s Sevens in the upcoming Pacific Games 2023. Leading the team is Head Coach Afa Aiono, a former Manu Samoa and Manu Samoa 7s player who has transitioned to coaching. Assisting him are Fuimaono Soi Lalovi as Team Manager and Apollos Paramore, serving as the physiotherapist. The squad includes 10 debutants donning the Manu Samoa 7s jersey for the first time, with seasoned campaigners Uaina Sione and Fuli Faafouina returning to compete for a spot in the Manu Samoa 7s for the SVNS World Sevens Series.
Lakapi Samoa’s strategic decision to feature a young squad involves providing exposure to young talents at this competitive level. Meanwhile, the Manu Samoa 7s players and Management who recently participated in the Olympics Qualifier and Oceania Sevens Championship are currently en route to New Zealand for a one-week camp before embarking on the first two legs of the SVNS World Sevens Series, scheduled to commence on December 1st – 3rd, 2023, in Dubai followed by Cape Town on the 9th – 10th December 2023.
The Pacific Games 2023 Rugby 7s tournament kicks off on November 23rd and concludes on November 25th at the National Stadium in Honiara, Solomon Islands. Samoa finds itself in Pool B alongside Tuvalu and Vanuatu. Having secured Silver in the 2019 Pacific Games in Apia, losing to Fiji, the Manu Samoa 7s team is optimistic about achieving a better outcome this year.