Samoan Rugby coach says he has been sacked

Samoan rugby coach Tuala Lepale Niko Palamo has said he has been sacked, after the Samoan union confirmed it was advertising for new coaching staff.

Palamo had been coach for just a year, taking over from All Blacks legend Michael Jones, who resigned after Samoa’s disappointing performance in the 2007 World Cup.

Assistant coaches Fepuleai Selefuti Patu and Paepae Stan Toomalatai are also being replaced, although all three have been invited to reapply for their jobs.

The Samoa Rugby Union placed an advertisement in the local Samoa Observer newspaper asking for applicants for the three coaching jobs.

Palamo confirmed Tuesday he had been sacked and said he was surprised at the grounds given for his dismissal, without giving details.

“Because the reasons they gave are very weak and unfounded, I’ve sought legal advice on the matter,” he said.

In a statement the rugby union said 2009 was a crucial year in trying to ensure a strong build up for the 2011 World Cup in New Zealand.

Samoa needs to win a Pacific qualifying series this year, with regional rivals Tonga and Fiji already qualified for 2011 due to their strong performances at the last World Cup.

“It’s important that Samoa is competitive in order to secure further internationals and develop a greater depth of Samoan talent,” the union said.

Sapa-AFP –

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