7 Jun 2014

Sport: Manu Samoa not dwelling on ABs test fuss

10:22 am on 7 June 2014

The Manu Samoa forwards coach says the recent fuss over whether the All Blacks would consider playing a test in Apia has not been a distraction to the players.

New Zealand have never played a Test in the Pacific Islands, and most recently played tests against Fiji and Tonga in 2011, and against Samoa in 2008.

Recent criticism of the All Blacks by the Manu Samoa centre Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu added fuel to the debate which was raging at the time forwards coach Tom Coventry left New Zealand.

Coventry, who is also the Chiefs assistant coach, says it hasn't really been spoken of since he joined the team in Samoa.

He says their focus has been on their opening Pacific Nations Rugby Cup game against Tonga today.

"I think in time it will play out, I think it hasn't really been a focus on the boys' minds, I haven't heard many of them talking about it. I think they'd all love to play the All Blacks in Apia but we realise there are lots of forces at play when it comes to getting the All Blacks to tour the Pacific Islands so yeah wait and see but certainly getting the PNC underway and performing well here is their main priority at the moment."

The Samoa forwards coach Tom Coventry.

Samoa host Tonga at Apia Park this afternoon.