25 Feb 2015

Sport: NZ talent scouts take interest in Samoa

12:05 pm on 25 February 2015

New Zealand's biggest rugby talent agency is in Apia this week to look at players at the recently established Rugby Academy of Samoa.

The academy was formed five months ago by former Manu Samoa captain Mahonri Schwalger and already has 215 players involved, from the Under 10 to Under 24 grades.

The New Zealand-based Essentially Group, who have All Blacks stars Richie McCaw and Dan Carter on their books, visited the academy this week to discuss .

Mahronri Schwalger says the aim is to put their players in the shop window to earn contracts and scholarships at schools and clubs overseas.

"We already have a kid who got a scholarship in Rotorua, one for Saint Paul's Collegiate in Hamilton and we've got another kid going to Hastings Boys, and we've already got a kid going to Sacred Heart. We've got two guys who are going to America, so we've got a few other players going to America at the end of this month. We're non-stop working every day to try and make sure these kids believe there is an opportunity and it can make them keep on coming to training".

Mahronri Schwalger says they want to give players the chance to make a career for themselves in rugby and hopefully if they do they will come back and represent Samoa.

Former Manu Samoa captain Mahonri Schwalger taking a scrum session at the Rugby Academy of Samoa.

Former Manu Samoa captain Mahonri Schwalger taking a scrum session at the Rugby Academy of Samoa. Photo: Rugby Academy Samoa