Sport: Samoa sevens coach calls it quits
Samoa Rugby Union denies the resignation of national sevens coach Viliamu Punivalu was as a result of on-field results.
The Samoa Rugby Union says the resignation of Sevens head coach Viliamu Punivalu was not as a result of poor recent results or pressure from officials.
It follows a disappointing season where player selections were criticised and the Manu team finished a lowly eighth on the World Series standings.
Samoa Rugby Union CEO Fred Amoa told Vinnie Wylie that Punivalu wanted to spend more time with his family and was not pushed into quitting.
FRED AMOA: Viliamu has managed to blend in new players into the squad and I'm told that that's going to continue. It would depend on the new coach and his thinking and approach to the squad but we will find somebody or someone will apply and go through the selection process.
VINNIE WYLIE: Viliamu was initially appointed for more than one year and has tendered that resignation. How much influence did people perhaps telling him to step down have in that or was it all his decision?
FA: He's made his own decision and the results haven't been the best, trying to rebuild the squad. Looking at the current position on the ranking is eighth so disappointing but [we've] got to be realistic and keep on rebuilding. There are some new players that have come into the squad and depending on the new coach we're going to keep them on or keep the squad together as well.
VW: Do you think with all the new players that have come through and obviously some of the results are not what traditionally Samoa are used to in the World Series. Do you think some of the fans need to maybe lower their expectations, in terms of cup finals and winning tournaments, or do you think that's fair?
FA: Fans are always expecting to win everything and it's always the case with Samoan fans everywhere. It's rebuilding, it's transitional at this stage [and] we will see what the next season and the Commonwealth [Games] is going to bring and see if there are improvements. It will take time to rebuild but hopefully the process has already started and results will be much better in the next series. It's a matter of being realistic with new players, building experience and also building systems.
VW: So if it is a rebuilding job and Viliamu started that when he took over for the season that's just finished, did he give you any indication as to why he's resigned then and why he didn't want to continue on and finish that job?
FA: He resigned because family reasons. The board has accepted that he's thinking of family - he's got a young family - and travelling in the length of time that he's away from home.
VW: So results and performances weren't a factor in the resignation?
FA: No, I don't think so. No it's not. The resignation made it clear it was for family reasons he decided to resign and concentrate on his young family.
VW: How long do you think until a new appointment will be made?
FA: Well we're hoping that we'll do it hopefully by early next week, sometime next week. We've given the advertising period until this Friday [so] hopefully early June.
VW: And at this stage will that just be for the Commonwealth Games or would you appoint somebody for the next World Series at this point as well?
FA: My understanding is that this is going to be the appointment that will take us through the Commonwealth and Sevens Series thereafter.
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