Rugby in Alaska? You can bet there are Samoans involved!
Anchorage, ALASKA — This photo provided by a player with the Manu Bears rugby team, shows team officials and players posing for a photo after clinching 2nd place in the Alaska Ruby Union’s 7s tournament completed on June 15 in Anchorage, Alaska. The team immediately started preparations for the Rugby 15s tournament which was held last Friday and Saturday.
In no particular order, these are the team’s officials - President: Penani Mulu; Treasure: Tusiata Meavao and Angelo Mataese; Secretary: Davis Tiai and Papaofo Loitoa; Coaches: Tuulima Naea, Sone Mulu and Pandora Mulu.
Players: Pio Leifi, Apelu Asailevai, Nicholas Brett, Desmond Tuasivi, Victor Falefatu, Sione Fanualelei, Sioeli Filihia, Joe Filoi, Robert Ieti, Romeo Willie Kitiona, Jazz Mafala, Angelo Mataese, Turi Lu Maugatai, Lotovale Meavao, Tavini Meavao, Uele Opetaia, Julla Savaiinaea, Esau Sia, Faaolataga Siaulaiga, Iele Siaulaiga, Davis Tiai, Fisher Toelau, Jason Tuasivi, O'Brien Leneuoti Uluenga, David Umu.
According to the Alaska Rugby Union website (www.alaskarugbyunion.org), Manu Bears is among the 10 teams in the Senior Men's division. The website also provides other information on the history of how rugby all started in Alaska, “in the frozen tundra”.