7 Nov 2017

Sport: Saifoloi backed to take chance with Manu Samoa

12:19 pm on 7 November 2017

Manu Samoa new cap Rohan Saifoloi has been backed to make the step up to international rugby.

The 25-year-old is a former Australian Under 20s representative and earned his call-up after impressing at first five for the Sydney Rays in the Australian National Rugby Championship.

The number 10 jersey is up for grabs with incumbents Tusi Pisi and D'angelo Leuila not originally selected for the three-match tour, although Pisi is attending the camp on standby in case of injury.

Rohan Saifoloi has been called up for Manu Samoa after impressing for the Sydney Rays.

Rohan Saifoloi has been called up for Manu Samoa after impressing for the Sydney Rays. Photo: Rugby Australia

Sydney Rays head coach Julian Huxley is a former Wallabies first five and has high hopes Saifoloi can take his chance at test level.

"He's really been impressive for us," he said.

"The NRC, depending on who you listen to is a great competition or a bad competition but, from my point of view it certainly gives guys a chance to show what they can do up against good opposition.

"So Rohan has performed very well against Super Rugby players - Brisbane City the other week with Quade Cooper and Karmichael Hunt playing at 10 and 12 - so he's gained a bit of confidence he can match it with them.

"So I'm really excited, hopefully he gets some good game-time because he's a lovely bloke and he's worked so hard.

"He's really professional and I'm really looking forward at seeing him have a crack."

Chris Vui wins a lineout on test debut for Manu Samoa against France.

Chris Vui is the new Manu Samoa skipper. Photo: AFP

Manu Samoa open their Northern tour this weekend against Scotland in Edinburgh.

Bristol lock Chris Vui has been appointed Manu captain with veteran utility back Paul Perez named as his deputy.

Ofisa Treviranus, Maurie Faasavalu, Faatiga Lemalu, David Lemi, Kieron Fonotia and Tim Nanai Williams are also part of the Manu's senior leadership group.