28 Aug 2014

Sport: Fuimaono back as 7's coach

10:36 am on 28 August 2014

Fuimaono Titimaea Tafua admits there is a lot of work to do after being appointed Samoa Sevens coach until the 2016 Rio Olympics.

This will be his second stint in charge of the sevens team, while he also coached Manu Samoa at the 2011 World Cup.

Fuimaono says the immediate goal is to secure a top four finish, which would seal their place at the Olympics.

He says the immediate goal is to secure a top four finish in the upcoming World Series, which would seal their place at the Olympics.

"The problem is that our players are not up to the standard - the level of fitness and also the strength. We have a lot of work to do. There are some new upcoming players and what we need is the commitment".

Meanwhile Fuimaono says there has been a number of expressions of interest from players keen to make a switch to play for Samoa in both sevens and fifteens.

A change in the IRB's eligibility laws means that a player can apply to switch their national allegiance if they hold a passport for the second country, have not played international rugby for at least 18 months and that they turn out for their new nation during the upcoming World Sevens Series.

Fuimaono says while nothing is confirmed discussions have been promising.

"Yeah we have some of the players but it has not yet been finalised and we're trying to organise what we can do to help out. It's good that there are some good players that want to come down. What we need is a declaration letter from them, just to delcare that they want to come and play for Samoa".

Fuimaono says he doesn't have much time to prepare the team for the opening leg of the new World Series on the Gold Coast in a month, but says they will just do they best they can.

Fuimaono Titimaea Tafua.

Fuimaono Titimaea Tafua. Photo: PHOTOSPORT