Money makes Samoa’s world go round

Samoan forwards coach Peter Fatialofa has underlined how International Rugby Board (IRB) monitory support has seen his country’s World Cup players make rapid strides in terms of their fitness and conditioning.

The IRB’s high performance unit has been benefiting Samoan rugby for around 18 months and Fatialofa, speaking ahead of the Pacific derby against Tonga on Sunday, claims the benefits are there to be seen.

“We used to just lift coconuts and banana trees, now we’ve got dieticians, weights, everything,” Fatialofa said.

“The players look after their bodies now. In my day as a player we never used to have bodies like these guys – they’re cut.

“We had muscle, but no definition. Because of the high performance unit and professionalism, players going overseas, they are learning things and bringing the information back.

“Once we go fully professional, once we get a big company to sponsor us, we’ll have 15 Michael Jones’ so look out.”

The former All Blacks flanker knows the importance of Sunday’s encounter against Tonga in Montpellier.

Samoa have to get back on track in Pool A after a 59-7 thumping by South Africa last weekend, while Tonga opened their campaign by seeing off the United States in midweek.

London Irish wing Sailosi Tagicakibau, meanwhile, has joined Samoa’s World Cup squad instead of the injured Anitelea Tuilagi.

“Sailosi has been in and out of the squad for a number of reasons over the years, mainly injuries, but he is a very classy player,” coach Michael said Jones.

 

 365 Digital

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