Samoa sevens coach told off for criticising travel schedule
Samoa's sevens rugby coach takes the heat for speaking out about travel concerns.
The Samoa sevens coach Damian McGrath was told off for publicly criticising the team's travel schedule.
Following last month's Wellington tournament, the Manu squad had to be ready at 3am to catch their flight to Sydney - barely seven hours after their final match at Westpac Stadium.
Upon arrival in Australia, the players weren't able to check into their hotel until the afternoon, and many opted to lie on the lobby floor for five or six hours until they could enter their rooms.
Damian McGrath told Vinnie Wylie World Rugby and the Samoa Rugby Union were not happy that he chose to share his frustrations on social media.
DAMIAN MCGRATH: I had a slap on the wrist for making public my thoughts on that but I just felt it really was poor form. I've been in professional sport for 25 years and never really had a day like I had on [last] Monday, which I just didn't think was acceptable at all, but World Rugby have assured us that these things will be dealt with and this sort of thing won't happen again.
VINNIE WYLIE: Obviously we discussed it in Wellington and then I saw you [speak out] on Twitter and thought "here we go".
DM: The situation just escalated into a real farce and we had the conversations with the powers that be and they said I shouldn't have spoken publicly about it. I just felt that I had to say something because, it really was terrible how we were treated. To be fair, we got the apology I think we deserved because player welfare is the ultimate thing and it's the players who put the spectacle on, and it's the players who get two full houses at the Sydney Football Stadium to watch and if the players aren't at their absolute peak then the spectacle's not as good so we've got to look after the players properly. By a long way we weren't the only team that were unhappy with the way things went on Monday - it was just I spoke out, rightly or wrongly.
VW: When you say a slap on the wrist - is that [from] World Rugby or Samoa?
DM: Well both. I mean, Samoa thought I should gone through them but I think it was a combination of a lack of sleep and frustration that made me voice my concerns publicly.
VW: Since we're on the travel, what are your arrangements looking like for [the next tournament in] Vegas - are they a bit more friendly?
DM: Well no they weren't. We were given a very poor travel schedule but with what's gone on in the last leg and the Samoa Rugby Union have taken this up and they're fighting strongly. The travel situation we've been given to go to Vegas just isn't acceptable so I'm hoping that our last conversation with World Rugby will do the trick and we will get a revised itinerary shall I say.
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