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Veterans recalled to Samoa 7s team

Wednesday 22 December 2021 | Written by RNZ | Published in Regional, Samoa

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Veterans recalled to Samoa 7s team
David Afamasaga Photo: Mike Lee - KLC fotos for World Rugby

Manu Samoa 7s head coach Muliagatele Brian Lima has named a 20-man squad for the upcoming World Sevens Series.

The squad is a mix of youngsters and experienced players, as well as recalled veterans.

Muliagatele has retained Va'afauese Apelu, Melani Matavao and Paul Scanlan, who have played a combined total of 97 matches for the Samoa National 7's team.

They join equally experienced experienced Alefosio Tapili who has played 69 games for the Manu Samoa Sevens team, and David Afamasaga who has 126 international matches under his belt.

Samoa Global News reports Muliagatele has also named young talent such as Indiah Saotui-Huta, Connor Moors, Steve Remoni, Owen Fetu and Mo'omo'o Falaniko, who all played for the Manu Samoa Under-20's in 2019.

Indiah and Mo'omo'o are now playing their rugby in New Zealand.

The coach said mix of experience, youth and household names from the previous era - will hopefully bring the Manu Samoa Sevens back onto the World Sevens map.

Samoa beat Tonga but both teams fell short at the Final Olympic Sevens Qualification Tournament.

The last time Manu Samoa 7's won a leg was in Paris in 2016, under Damien McGrath while Muliagatele was his assistant.

Muliagatele is assisted by Tausa Faamoe Faamaoni Lalomilo, a former Manu 15s player and National 7s Head Coach.

The team will depart Samoa on January 1 for Dubai where they'll camp until the next leg in Spain. The Spain tournament replaces the NZ-Australia legs that used to be played in Hamilton and Sydney.