13 Apr 2016

Sport: Samoa Under 20s determined to right the wrongs of 2015

11:33 am on 13 April 2016

The Samoa Under 20 team is determined to right the wrongs of last year and win back their place in the elite World Rugby Under 20 Championship.

Samoa were relegated from the top tier of age grade rugby last year after losing a play-off match against hosts Italy.

Australia challenges the Samoa defence at the World Rugby U20 Championship.

Samoa finished last during last year's Under 20 Championship. Photo: Massimiliano Pratelli/Fotosportit.

The team leaves today for the second tier Under 20 Trophy in Zimbabwe, with five players retained from last year.

Interim Samoa women's sevens coach Ramsey Tomokino issues instructions during training.

Ramsey Tomokino is coaching both the Samoa Under 20 men and Manusina women's sevens teams. Photo: Twitter / Manusina_SWR

Ramsey Tomokino was an assistant coach with last year's team but has added the head coaching duties this year to his role with the Manusina Sevens team.

"Their sole focus or catch-cry is to fix the situation and try and get this team back up to the tier one Championship. The five of them are forming part of a leadership group as well and we have got two players that have been involved with the Samoa A programme as well, that have just come off their campaign in Fiji, and then we have also got our players that have been in the local sevens development as well so they're motivated and really know what the task is at hand and that is to get to the Junior World Championship and there is lots of learning they have taken from last year that we can apply to this year."

There are nine locally-based players in the Samoa squad as well as some from New Zealand and Australia.

Samoa have been drawn in the same pool as Fiji, Uruguay and hosts Zimbabwe.