Samoa in the shit ... poached like a taupo trout (apparently)

  • Its not just in rugby that there are strange goings on behind the scenes where sports officials in Samoa are concerned. Here is a brief part of the saga where a sprinter good enough to trial for the USA Olympic team but who elected to elected to represent Samoa got treated when he did a Mahonri Schwalger. He called the officials to task and they demanded he apologise for questioning their honesty and integrity

  • This is worth a read ... world rugby clarifying their position on all Samoas claims

  • @majorrage

    Thanks, good clear press relear from irb.

    As I had thought.

    'Bankruptcy' correctly reported by most with the single quotes.

    Part of their funding withheld due to poor governance. In this case agree to funding head coach position as long as it follows an independent panel.

    Not funded if panel ignored and job goes to man from the right church / family / etc etc

    SRU made their choice.


    “We are bankrupt,” he told the Samoa Observer in his office. 
    “In other words we are insolvent. It means the Union cannot continue to pay off our debts with the banks. We also need money to pay the players so they can continue to play.”
    At the time, the admission took most people by surprise, especially coming from the Chairman who had up until that point repeatedly downplayed the Union’s financial woes.
    That aside, the timing could not have been better. You see the admission was made a day before a nationwide Radiothon organised by the Union, apparently to pay for the Manu Samoa players insurance and the salary of Head Coach, Fuimaono Titimaea Tafua.

  • in ^ that article, is a link to this article;<i>

    Now this is an article about hopeless administration, lack of care of kids in your charge, and passing the buck. But my attention was caught by references to the state of the High Performance Unit. (a bricks and mortar IRB investment)

    He was staying at the High Performance Unit so we were happy with that.
    However, that was short lived…we soon found out there was no hot water and no kitchen facilities and the basics like toilet paper was not provided and there were no toilet seats.
    Not all the boys stayed at HPU only the boys who had no family to stay with.  

    The construction of the Samoa Rugby Union's (SRU) High Performance Facility is ... The IRB has contributed over GBP £1million to the project ....

    In February this year, the IRB’s head of Development and Performance, Mark Egan told local media, “For 2010, The IRB pours in £1.6million pounds (T$4.9 million) between all the grants. £200,000 for the development grant, the £400,000 for high performance operations grant that funds the academy and HP programmes; and for actual construction just over a £1million directly to the Samoan Rugby Union.” 


    Samoa finally get their shit in some order.

    E.g. get a seat on the council now that their Financial reports meet World Rugby criteria.

  • @rapido Still mixing politics and rugby though. The Samoan PM will take that seat on the WR Council. It's great they're on the Council now, but they'll also need to keep their shit together in the future.

  • @stargazer said in Samoa in the shit ... poached like a taupo trout (apparently):

    @rapido Still mixing politics and rugby though. The Samoan PM will take that seat on the WR Council. It's great they're on the Council now, but they'll also need to keep their shit together in the future.

    As long as they vote how we tell them too then it's all good. 😉

    Tonga and Fiji should be getting a vote as well.

  • From:


    Governance has long been an issue in the Pacific and the political involvement – the leaders of Fiji and Samoa also head the rugby unions for example – adds a layer of complexity other teams avoid.

    Tonga coach and former Wallaby No 8 Toutai Kefu believes his union do not have the right people in power to take the game forward. “One of our biggest issues is governance. We just seem to be involving people who are incompetent. I’m not talking about everyone but there are people in positions of power who don’t have the experience to govern.

    “Everything I do is about increasing our chances of winning, but I think one of their main agendas is to give local players an opportunity to play for ‘Ikale Tahi, which in turn allows them to get a visa to go overseas. I believe you have to earn the ‘Ikale Tahi jersey. I don’t want to waste it as a development vehicle.

    “We’re faring okay on the field but off it we need people to secure home Tests and better games, an administration to secure other forms of funding other than World Rugby investment. We’re ending up with people who’ve got there through nepotism and corruption.”

    Constant changes in the top positions mean it’s hard to make significant advancements, particularly when people want to make their mark. Tonga team manager Inoke Afeaki says: “Everyone wants to come and build a castle, but rather than build on what they’ve got, they knock it down and start again.”

    Kefu and Afeaki would like World Rugby to be more stringent in how the Tonga Rugby Union appoint people to high-level positions, providing a detailed remit of what attributes someone needs to fulfil a role, but the governing body must tread a fine line. They can’t be too dictatorial as they want these unions to make strides themselves, to provide stability off the field and sustain progress.


    Vincent Fepuleai, chief executive of the Samoa Rugby Union (SRU), knows it needs to be a two-way relationship. The SRU are working on changes to their constitution – a process all three unions are going through – which will see their board include more independent figures. The aim is to meet criteria set out by World Rugby, who want to bring the islands’ administration structures in line with other unions, making them more democratic and transparent.

    Should the SRU’s changes be passed at the September AGM and World Rugby agree they have ticked the relevant boxes, they can then be proposed for a seat on the Council. At present, Fiji, Samoa and Tonga’s interests are represented by Oceania Rugby.

    “I’d like to see us being able to voice our issues at Council meetings,” says Fepuleai. “We’re not sitting on our bums waiting for handouts, we’re working very hard to meet every obligation set for us. We want to work with World Rugby and make changes happen.”

    Read more at at

    Some very candid comments by Kefu and Afeaki.

  • @rapido Damn, that is really candid. Sheesh, imagine if Hansen started lobbing grenades at NZR in that manner.

  • @nepia said in Samoa in the shit ... poached like a taupo trout (apparently):

    @rapido Damn, that is really candid. Sheesh, imagine if Hansen started lobbing grenades at NZR in that manner.

    How about this for candid .... It's from an article 3 months ago though, about late player payments. Judging by this I'd think Tonga are still a way off getting a seat at the board.

    (I was doing a google search to see if Tonga have named their November squad yet).

    The Tonga rugby squad have finally been paid for their efforts in the June test window, after a number of players had hit out at the lack of support from the country's Rugby Union.

    Bath flyer Cooper Vuna tweeted after the 'Ikale Tahi beat Fiji a week and a half ago that the players were still waiting for CEO Fe'ao Vunipola to pay the team and congratulate them on their achievements.

    Injured Leicester Tigers fullback Telusa Veainu also commented that "Some things just don't change. Give the players what they deserve."

    'Ikale Tahi coach Toutai Kefu said funding remained an ongoing problem for the Tonga Rugby Union, which is almost entirely reliant on World Rugby.

    "Because of our incompetence in terms of our governance/administration we lack that power to pursue other forms of funding and even organisation of test matches during the November window and sponsorship and all that type of stuff so we're basically 99.9 percent funded by World Rugby," he acknowledged.

    Toutai Kefu said the 'Ikale Tahi team manager, former test captain Inoke Afeaki, has assured him the players were finally paid last week.

    "It's one of the things that creeps up every campaign. We always try and get the players paid in the first week of the tour and the last week of the tour.

    "Now, because of for some reason or another, the government is responsible for those payments and they've always contributed to the player payments... it's either been held up or just a slow process, for one reason or another, but in the end it always seems to get paid."

    Kefu said TRU Chief Executive Fe'ao Vunipola is a hard man to track down and the former test front rower has not visited the team or attended any of the 'Ikale Tahi's recent matches.

    "I haven't spoken to him for over 18 months. He doesn't even come to any of the games, there's no well-wishes," he said.

    "Even when we were in Tonga last year - apparently he was in Tonga but he didn't even come and see the team."

    "He splits his time between UK and Tonga though I think he spends more time actually in the UK but we actually don't know when he actually is in Tonga," admitted the former Wallabies number eight.

    "He turns up pretty much at his will. I don't know what he actually does because we've been running the 'Ikale Tahi parallel to the Union for the last two/three years, we've been trying to deal with governments and trying to deal with World Rugby on our own."

    Toutai Kefu said a request for additional funding from World Rugby was approved in December, which allowed them to expand staff and player numbers for the June window and have a week-long camp in Auckland before tests against Georgia, Samoa and Fiji.

    Tonga's victories over Manu Samoa and the Flying Fijians, which followed a one-point defeat the Lelos, helped them climb to 12th place in the latest World Rugby rankings.

    Unlike Samoa for the last decade, Tonga are actually punching well above their weight at a playing level, and at a player development level are producing good home-grown and/or scholarship players.

    Yet their union is disfunctional. Well gone to the coaches, players, and thank the genes of their ancestors for being able to rise above the administrative rabble (but probably only temporarily if not sorted).

Log in to reply