Seilala Mapusua named new Samoa head coach

Former star centre Seilala Mapusua has been named as the new head coach of Samoa’s national team. The ex-London Irish hero – who has coached Otago’s U19 team for the last four years – has promised to bring on more domestic players while seaking to improve the nation’s Test fortunes.

At the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan, Samoa only registered one win, against Russia. They have not gotten out of the World Cup group stages since 2003.

Samoa confirmed in their statement that 26-times Samoa-capped Mapusua takes over from Steve Jackson, whose contract expired at the end of last year.

Seilala Mapusua named new Samoa head coach

Team prayer: Mapusua in France, in 2009 (Getty Images)

“My focus is to grow our local players,” Mapusua, 40, told the press. “That’s where the heart of our team will come from … that will be the key to having a competitive team.

“We’ll concentrate on the local players and then take it from there.”

SRU Chief Executive Vincent Fepuleai also added: “Samoa Rugby Union went through a lengthy process in reviewing the … RWC campaign with the aim to make sure lessons learnt will be dealt (with) professionally and (to) make sure it won’t repeat.

“On behalf of Samoa Rugby Union, I want to congratulate Mapusua on his appointment.”

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