28 Oct 2015

Sport: Local players miss out in Samoa women's sevens team

12:19 pm on 28 October 2015

Local players have missed out on the new-look Samoa women's sevens team that will take the field this weekend.

The Manusina finished a dismal 11th of 12 teams at a World Series qualifying tournament in Dublin in August, including defeats to rugby minnows Brazil and Columbia.

All but three of that squad was based in Samoa.

Former Cook Islands men's sevens coach Ramsey Tomokino has since taken charge on an interim basis in the lead-up to next month's Olympic qualifying tournament in Auckland.

He says he had little choice but to select an entirely New Zealand-based squad to compete in this weekend's New Zealand Women's Sevens Series event in Taupo.

"We want to develop players in Samoa, and there are a couple of gems up in Samoa that could foot it quite easily with the girls that are based here, but they need local competition up there and until those structures are in place, which I know is on the radar and there's going to be local competition for sevens and fifteens, then they're always going to be behind the eight ball. There is capacity to have flown the girls down from Samoa, as part of the Oceania programme but they just haven't fronted to training in Samoa so that's the issue. Probably all of the will be New Zealand based - there are a couple of girls on the radar from Australia but logistics doesn't really allow us to get a chance [as] they would have needed to get themselves over here to be seen to play".

This weekend's hit-out is being used as preparation for next month's Olympic qualifiers, from which the winner goes to Rio and the next two best teams advance to a global repechage.

The Manusina celebrate winning the Plate title at the Borneo Sevens in Indonesia.

The Manusina at the Borneo Sevens in Indonesia earlier this year. Photo: Samoa Women's Rugby Union