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In a press conference Wednesday afternoon, the American Samoa Rugby Union Chairman Togiola Tulafono solicited the public for support to help send the island-territory’s Talavalu Rugby 7's team to the Cathay Pacific HSBS Sevens World Series in Hong Kong. The tournament, which will be held on the 28th- 30th of March will be the history making appearance of our Talavalu team that earned their chance after placing 5th at the Oceania 7's Championship in Fiji in 2013.


American Samoa has never before qualified for this tournament.


ASRU Chairman Togiola Tulafono stated that getting the Talavalu team ready for  the upcoming Hong Kong 7's is a daunting task for the coach and team and while some of the expenses are going to be paid by the IRB, unfortunately not everything will be covered.


The ASRU is now approaching the community for financial assistance to send the Talavalu Rugby team to the Hong Kong Sevens and will be holding a Telethon on February 14th — Valentine’s Day.


He says they picked that day because it’s a special day — a day where we can show our love for each other, “hence we are asking American Samoa to show your love for our Talavalu Rugby team, and to show our support as they travel to Hong Kong to represent all of us.”


Togiola sent out a big thank you to all sponsors of the team — especially Talavalu's leading sponsor, Bluesky Communications that also sponsored the team in the Oceania 7's Championship Games in Fiji in 2013, which set the stage for their invitation to the Hong Kong Sevens. Other sponsors include Governor Lolo M. Moliga and his Administration through the Office of Youth and Women's Affairs, the American Samoa Visitors Bureau, McConnell Dowell, and Paramount Builders.


He also thanked the media for getting the word out.


Pictured are the top 18 players now in training from which 12 will be selected for the Hong Kong 7s. Four players will be selected as reserves — staying on-island in case a replacement is required. A three-member coaching/training staff will accompany the team.


Samoa News will have reporters and photographers on the ground in Hong Kong for this event.