22 Mar 2019

Sport: Manu Samoa coach challenges team to start winning

12:54 pm on 22 March 2019

Manu Samoa coach Steve Jackson admits his side needs to win more test matches if they want to be considered for World Rugby's proposed Nations Championship.

The governing body wants a 12 team global competition to start in 2022, that would feature teams from the Six Nations and Rugby Championship as well as two additional countries based on world rankings, currently Fiji and Japan.

Samoa have won only five of their 20 test matches since the last World Cup, with their only successes in the last two years coming against European minnows Germany and Spain.

Melani Matavao scores a try for Manu Samoa during their 2019 Rugby World Cup qualifying win vs Germany.

Melani Matavao scores a try for Manu Samoa during their 2019 Rugby World Cup qualifying win vs Germany. Photo: AFP

Steve Jackson, who was appointed in September last year, said that had to change.

"We're ranked 17th in the world. We can only control what we do within our group," he said.

"Results will determine our ranking so really our own destiny is in our own hands and we need to do well and start winning, end of story.

"If you start winning your ranking gets up higher and then again if we get inside that top 10/top 12 - whatever it is - then we deserve to be there."

The new Blues forwards coach Steve Jackson.

Manu Samoa coach Steve Jackson. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

At a meeting in Dublin last week, World Rugby outlined its preference for a three-tiered competition of up to 40 nations, with the ability for promotion and relegation.

With the international rugby calendar on the brink of a major overhaul, Steve Jackson said it was important World Rugby made the right decisions around the final make-up of the Nations Championship.

"Not just what's best for Pacific rugby but what's best for the player, we've got to take that into consideration as well," he said.

"Player welfare is a massive thing with our players, when we're looking at games etc [and] how we can freshen them up. Everything is a lot faster and harder these days, in terms of the rugby game, so they've got to be mindful of player welfare first and foremost and understand that Pacific rugby is a breeding ground for the superstars that are named year-in year-out, in terms of World Rugby.

"I think hopefully those people that are making those decisions are actually making the right ones and not selfish ones."

Manu Samoa came up short against Georgia.

Samoa are currently ranked 17th in the world. Photo: Facebook/Georgian Rugby