18 Jan 2016

Sport: Injury problems clearing up for Samoa sevens

12:27 pm on 18 January 2016

Samoa coach Damian McGrath says the Manu's injury woes are clearing up with less than two weeks until the World Sevens Series resumes in Wellington.

Samoa struggled for numbers last month, finishing Dubai with 11 players and just nine fit bodies at the end of the Cape Town tournament.

Samoa men's sevens coach Damian McGrath.

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

Damian McGrath says the squad only had a short break and trained hard over Christmas and New Year but aside from Francis Ieremia and Fetufoa Setu Laga, who have long term injuries, everyone is available for selection.

"I think it's a testament to our conditoner Luke Stephenson and Mat [Amituanai], our physio. It's been good to get everybody back and to get those minor niggles and knocks sorted out. It gives us a bit of confidence that we're going to have a fairly strong team available to us. I think their batteries are recharged and I know everybody is excited. I've got the difficulty of trying to pick a squad of 12 players from 24 very committed players. I'm going to disappoint a few players but everybody else is looking forward to getting on the plane and getting over to Wellington and then Sydney, to pit their wits against the best in the world".

Damian McGrath says New Zealand-based duo Tom Iosefo and Tomasi Alosio have also made themselves available and will offer some welcome experience if they're included in the final squad.

Samoa finished seventh at the Dubai Sevens.

Samoa is 11th in the World Sevens Series standings. Photo: World Rugby