26 Jun 2017

Sport: Family alleges Samoa Rugby mistreatment

6:23 pm on 26 June 2017

The family of an aspiring young rugby player has written an open letter to Samoa's prime minister, alleging severe mistreatment at the hands of the rugby union.

Ethan Lolesio's family wrote to Prime Minister Tuila'epa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi in his capacity as Chairman of the Samoa Rugby Union.

They say when the Australian-based player travelled to Samoa for Under 20 trials in March he was not looked after as promised, supposedly being housed in the High Performance Unit without hot water, kitchen facilities, regular meals and incomplete toilets.

Their letter stated Lolesio had to receive medical treatment in Samoa because of he had multiple boils on his body due to the conditions of his accommodation.

Samoa perform the Siva Tau at the World Rugby U20 Championship.

Samoa at the U20 World Cup Photo: Lasha Kuprashvili / World Rugby

Lolesio was part of the squad that competed in the Oceania Cup in Australia but when the team went back to Samoa in May, his family say he was left with no food and water for two days.

The U20s coach was then replaced and Lolesio was also dropped from the team to compete at the recently completed U20 World Cup in Georgia.

The family's letter, signed by Robert Lolesio and published in the Samoa Observer, concluded by saying there was a lack of communication from coaching staff, no duty of care towards their son, and a lack of basic necessitates.

The parents are demanding an apology, compensation for money spent on travelling to national trials and the resignation of the coach and manager of the team and the general manager SRU.

However the Samoa Rugby Union has firmly denied the allegations and are expected to provide further details shortly.

RNZ International has also spoken to another player's family who agree with the SRU that no such mistreatment occurred.