23 Jun 2011

Sport: Inexperienced Samoan team begins world champs countdown

1:13 pm on 23 June 2011

The Samoan netball team will assemble in Canberra later today without their most experienced international.

Frances Solia debuted for Samoa in 2002 and captained the side in recent years, including at last years Commonwealth Games in Delhi.

But she was left out of squads for the recent Pacific Series and the upcoming World Champs, along with a number of New Zealand and Australian based players, because she didn't attend the national trials in Apia earlier this year.

Samoa coach Linda Vagana says the national body has decided to take a firm stance on overseas-based players who's participation in games and trials could not be guaranteed.

Although she admits that, in Solia's case, there has been confusion on both sides.

"As much as we might say that one player doesn't make a huge difference in a team, a player of her calibre who plays at the level she does with the ANZ Series - and being out only player, that was a decision that I found really hard on Samoan Netball's part but also there was obviously miscommunications with her coming into trials, and Samoa not knowing that she was busy with the franchise, so a whole lot of factors involved and we weren't able to have her this year."

Samoa will play some practice matches against the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra before flying out for Singapore.