IRB offers territory seven training slots in Fiji, all expenses paid


American Samoa is getting assistance from the International Rugby Board (IRB), the governing body of world rugby, to further the development of this sport in the territory as the national team, ‘Talavalu’, prepares for next year’s Hong Kong International 7s tournament.
IRB has offered the American Samoa Rugby Union seven slots for selected players to train and learn more about rugby in Fiji, said ASRU board member Peseta Sa Mavaega who also told Samoa News that the IRB will pay for all expenses such as travel, room and board.
The training program in Fiji is similar to that being carried out in Samoa — with the goal for players to learn more about the sport, which has undergone major development in American Samoa in the last three years.
Additionally, the training program in Samoa has made it possible for that country to select the best players to participate in current IRB sanctioned international tournaments for the entire year.
Peseta explained that one of the main goals of the Fiji training is for local players to reach a higher level of rugby as achieved by players in other countries involved in IRB tournaments.  Additionally, it is meant to give players better knowledge of rugby rules and policies both on and off the field.
Meanwhile, the ASRU continues training with plans to send two teams to Apia for the February 21-22, 2014 annual Vailima Marist 7s International  tournament, where the union hopes that players will gain more playing experience as this sporting event will include some of the best teams from the Pacific region, such as Tonga and Fiji.
ASRU provided last week to Samoa News a list of 30 players currently undergoing training. From the list, ASRU will soon select the team for the Samoa tournament, while selecting the team for Hong Kong will not be carried out until after the teams return from Samoa.
Original Samoan version of this story was published in Toasavili edition of Samoa News last Saturday.


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