25 Nov 2011

Sport: Samoa banking on big squad to maintain momentum

11:23 am on 25 November 2011

Samoa are looking to maintain momentum at the Gold Coast Sevens, which kicks off the new World Series season on Friday afternoon.

The 2010 series champions struggled under the pressure of their title defence last season, making just one Cup final in Dubai.

Coach Stephen Betham has responded by injecting a handful of new players into his squad, who've helped the team to victory at the Pacific Games, Oceania Sevens and Kenya Sevens tournaments in the past few months.

The Gold Coast event marks the first of three consecutive tournaments and Betham says squad depth will be important to any success.

"We've actually had to extend the squad a bit - have extra four players training with the team right up until leaving. This is to cover for any injuries because after two tournaments the body will wear down somehow. Also we see, as the tournament progresses from one to two, the performance sort of falls and I guess that's due to the body wear and tear. I think a lot of injuries will occur if we don't manage it properly, plan it properly."

Samoa are in the same pool as France, Argentina and Papua New Guinea