Communication Key To A Positive Outcome For Samoan Rugby

Nov 16 • General News, International • 1784 Views • Comments Off on Communication Key To A Positive Outcome For Samoan Rugby

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On October 27, Samoa International Rugby players raised serious concerns with the International Rugby Board (IRB) and the International Rugby Players Association (IRPA) regarding the governance and management of the Samoan Rugby Union (SRU). Members of the squad indicated that they would withdraw from their Test against England on November 22nd if their concerns were not heard.


The proposed action was withdrawn after agreement was reached between the Samoan players association PIPA, IRPA and the IRB to engage in dialogue to facilitate a collaborative and positive resolution to the concerns.


The Samoa International players outlined their concerns following their ongoing frustration at what they feel has been a significant period of substandard administration and governance within their National Union from the grass roots through to the international level.


As it currently stands the players lack confidence in the SRU and their operations, and believe strongly that things need to change once and for all. In the past attempts by the players to raise their concerns with the SRU have been unsuccessful.  The players believe that they were left with no other course of action in order to ensure positive change for the benefit of Samoa Rugby.


The first meeting took place yesterday, Saturday 15th November at which IRPA and the Samoa players engaged in good discussion and information sharing with the IRB. Unfortunately the SRU chose not to have representation at the meeting.


With IRPA support it is the Samoan International players’ strong desire to work with the SRU and IRB and engage on these issues with a view to developing positive outcomes for the benefit of Samoa Rugby. They are now asking the SRU to commit to meaningful communication and discussion on the issues with all parties.


IRPA Executive Director Rob Nichol:
“IRPA and the Samoan International players are committed to working alongside the IRB to ensure positive discussions with the SRU, all with a focus on what is best for the future of rugby in Samoa.  IRPA believes that with the support of the IRB it is important that the SRU take up the opportunity and come to the table willing to engage meaningfully on the issues. From our perspective that would be a good first step in resolving this situation – without meaningful communication things will not improve”. 

Daniel Leo, Samoan International Players:
“We believe we have had to endure these ongoing issues for far too long. This is about us, the players deciding enough is enough, and seeking positive change and input for the benefit of Samoan rugby and the welfare of future players.  We believe that organising ourselves and taking this approach was the only way the game would take our concerns and issues seriously”.


Census Johnston, Samoan International Players:
“We as players fully understand the commercial realities and performance based nature of professional sport, but we believe the opportunities for positive developments in our playing environment and rugby in Samoa is currently compromised. Not only do we want to see the issues addressed, but we also want to be part of the solution. We are a small nation of proud people, we need to work together to better represent Samoa and securing the future of the game”.


Kahn Fotuali’i, Samoan International Players:
“From this day forward the players will be professionally represented and engaged in the administration and governance of our rugby environment. We want the opportunity to contribute positively and to do so with confidence in our administration”.


Maurie Faasavalu, Samoan International Players:
“As players, we will work to ensure transparency and integrity within Samoan rugby.  This is needed to allow us to fulfil the potential of Samoan rugby and succeed in the modern game”.


Josh Blackie, Pacific Island Players’ Association (PIPA):
“The players are genuine stakeholders in the game and must be treated and valued as such.  The future success of Samoan rugby is dependent on the players being integral to the administration of the game.  The players are now engaged and committed to the ongoing discussions with the games administration and look forward to actionable, definite outcomes”.

The Samoan International players are committed to working positively with administrators to ensure tangible actions and outcomes. They are now simply asking the SRU to take the same approach.

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