16 Dec 2015

Sport: Samoa coach calls for extended sevens squads

11:54 am on 16 December 2015

Samoa sevens coach Damian McGrath says larger squads are needed on the World Series to cope with the increasing physical demands of the modern game.

The Manu finished the Cape Town tournament on Monday with only nine fit players.

Samoa finished a distant 13th at the Cape Town Sevens.

Samoa finished a distant 13th at the Cape Town Sevens. Photo: World Rugby

New Zealand were down to the bare minimum of seven at the end of the weekend while England also have a mounting casualty ward.

Damian McGrath says the looming debut of the Olympic sevens program has revolutionised the game as well as the demands on the players.

"It's amazing how attritional sevens has become: as fast as it gets it seems to get more and more physical along the same lines, which makes it very exciting for fans to watch but it takes a real toll on players bodies. This second weekend has caught a few teams I think and shown how durable the players have to be to play in the series. I certainly think that carrying just 12 players now, in the modern game, is not enough - I think you should be allowed to carry a minimum of 14 players".

The Samoa and Fiji teams have the next couple of weeks off to recharge the batteries over Christmas before beginning preparations for the next leg in Wellington at the end of January.

Samoa men's sevens coach Damian McGrath.

Samoa men's sevens coach Damian McGrath. Photo: RNZI / Vinnie Wylie