Hong Kong: Perez in, Selesele out
Manu Samoa star, Paul Perez has been given the nod for the Tokyo and Hong Kong legs of the IRB Sevens, much to the relief of rugby fans yesterday.
Perez was named in the travelling team, announced by coach, Tausa Fa’amaoni Lalomilo at Apia Park, after it was approved by the Chairman of the Samoa Rugby Union, Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi.
Also back in the team for the Hong Kong mission is Fa’atoina Autagavaia who has been out with injury.
But the much-maligned Falemiga Selesele has been dropped. The forward was the subject of much criticism following the team’s failure to reach the final in Las Vegas.
Speaking to the Samoa Observer yesterday, Coach Tausa said the selection of the team was purely based on performance.
He said the players have been preparing extremely well and eventhough the “preferred” team has been named, anything could happen in terms of injuries.
The Coach said he was pleased to have Perez and Autagavaia back in the fold. He said Perez is a quality player who brings with him a wealth of experience.
Speaking of experience, Lolo Lui and Reupena Levasa retain their spots. Although Afa Aiono will captain the team, Lui and Levasa’s experience will be vital.
In the build up to Hong Kong, coach Tausa said they have been working hard on making sure players make the right decisions at the right moments. He accepted that decision making needed to improve after the team’s last outing in Wellington and Las Vegas.
Manu Samoa fullback, James Sooialo has been named in the reserves. Although he was not named, Robert Lilomaiava could also force his way back into the team once he is done with his Samoa A duties.
Samoa is placed third behind South Africa and New Zealand in the World Series.