13 Dec 2014

Samoa PM cautions World Rugby

12:03 pm on 13 December 2014

Samoa Rugby Union chairman and Prime Minister, Tuila'epa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi, cautioned World Rugby on external interference in the affairs of the union during a meeting on Wednesday with World Rugby officials in Brussels.

Tuila'epa met with World Rugby Chairman Bernard Lapasset to discuss a number of issues, including those raised recently by some Manu Samoa players.

Tuila'epa highlighted the fact that Samoa, unlike Tier 1 nations, is not in a financial position where it can afford to pay its players similar levels of allowances to those enjoyed by players in countries such as New Zealand or England.

On SRU-initiated reforms, Mr Lapasset acknowledged and supported the proactive role of the Samoa Rugby Union in their ongoing programme of reforms deemed appropriate for high performance sports in an era of professionalism.

World Rugby also pledged financial support to the implementation phase of these reforms.

Tuila'epa also informed World Rugby that the SRU is proactively seeking out new sponsorships to supplement existing resources.

Mr Lapasset also acknowledged the great contribution by Samoa as a Tier 2 nation to the overall development of rugby globally.

As part of ongoing engagements between the SRU and World Rugby, Tuila'epa agreed to a proposal from World Rugby to visit Apia next year, in late January or early February, for further discussions and to see first-hand progress achieved regarding SRU-led reforms.

World Rugby also welcomed the initiative by Tuilaepa to hold additional discussions with a number of Manu Samoa players during his visit to Brussels.

Samoa PM Tuila'epa and World Rugby Chairman Bernard Lapasset

Samoa PM Tuila'epa and World Rugby Chairman Bernard Lapasset Photo: Supplied