10 Feb 2022

In brief: news from around the Pacific

5:03 am on 10 February 2022

Samoa's opposition leader back in hospital

Samoa's opposition leader Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi has been readmitted to the Tupua Tamasese Meaole hospital.

Newsline Samoa reports the former Prime Minister was admitted for observation on Tuesday evening.

The leader of the HRPP party, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi

The leader of the HRPP party, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi Photo: RNZ Pacific/Tipi Autagavaia

He had been up and about and attended church on Sunday and later hosted his regular Sunday programme on TV1 .

Tuilaepa was admitted a month ago with what he later said was a "rogue germ" that made him feverish and tired.

The government has been preparing to send the 76-year-old to New Zealand for a full medical check up and its reported he is due to fly out this weekend.

Drua will meet New South Wales Waratahs next week

The Fiji Rugby Union said excitement is building for the Fijian Drua to kick-off their Super Rugby Pacific journey.

FRU chief executive officer John O'Connor said the whole of Fiji is looking forward to the Drua's inaugural Super Rugby match against the New South Wales Waratahs next Friday.

O'Connor said having a team participate in one of the best rugby competitions in the world was the missing link in their player pathway program.

"The boys have been in camp from November. They have been away from families and I think they are quite eager to jump onto the field," he said.

The Fijian Drua will go up against the Melbourne Rebels for their first external trial match at the Harlequin Rugby Club in Ashwood at 6pm tomorrow.

Viliame Satala and Jerry Tuwai will be new assistant coaches for national team

Two of Fiji's most revered rugby players from two different generations have been given the nod as assistant coaches for the national sevens team.

The Fiji Rugby Union announced on Monday that 2005 Sevens World Cup winner Viliame Satala and two-time Olympian and gold medal winner Jerry Tuwai will be part of a new coaching set-up, with Englishman Ben Gollings.

Satala, known as 'The Stretcher' during his playing days because of his bone-crunching tackles will focus on the forwards, skills and support with talent identification and mentoring of players.

While Tuwai will take on the role of player/coach to develop his coaching.

Head coach Ben Gollings said Satala brings a wealth of knowledge and experience that he can share with the new generation of players.

Gollings said Tuwai is interested in pursuing a coaching career and "this is a good time to support his development and transition."

According to the FRU, this will be the first time that a foreign head coach of the national sevens team has engaged local coaches as part of his coaching team.

Samoa high chiefs present a traditional Ifoga to the Government

Three high chiefs from the village of Fasito'o Tai conducted a Ifoga, a traditional apology, over comments made against the government.

The three men were covered in a fine mat in front of the Government building Wednesday morning.

The apology was accepted by Cabinet Minister and leader of the FAST administration, La'auli Leuatea Schmidt, who removed the mat covering the men.

The matai were then escorted into the government building to meet with the Cabinet.

A matai of Fasito'o, Afamasaga Lino, told Radio Polynesia the derogatory comments were made by one of the chiefs from the village against the government on social media which lead to the traditional apology.

The Chiefs met with members of the Cabinet, including Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mata'afa and Deputy Prime Minister Tuala Ponifasio.

La'auli spoke on behalf of the Government acknowledging the high regards and respect accorded to the Prime Minister and Cabinet with the traditional apology.