Samoa women's rugby coach has big shoes to fill
The new coach of Samoa's women's rugby team talks about replacing the late Papali'itele Peter Fatialofa and what the team wants to achieve at this year's World Cup in Spain.
The Samoa women's rugby coach, Euini Lale Faumuina, admits he has some pretty big shoes to fill in his new role.
Faumuina will lead the Manusina into the Women's Rugby World Cup in Spain later this year (August).
The former assistant coach replaces the late Papali'itele Peter Fatialofa, who passed away in November, and says he will do his best to continue his good work with the team.
EUINI LALE FAUMUINA: It's a huge challenge, very sad with his untimely death but I guess when your calling comes you can't really say no to them eh. The shoes that I'm stepping into is very big but I'm not going to compare myself to Papali'itele. He's played a massive role in building up this legacy of the Manusina team, a team that's been inactive for a few years so for him to [have] brought it back up and enable the team to qualify for this year's Rugby World Cup was pretty massive in its own right. It was pretty unexpected that I was going to step into this role - I was only expecting to assist him with the coaching roles and that but god obviously had other plans and now I'm pretty much in the hotseat and ready and looking forward to taking up the challenge on behalf of my brother.
VINNIE WYLIE: So did you apply for the role or I see some of the comments there saying that you were the sort of natural person to take over because you were already a part of the team, having assisted with the team prior to that - or was it a case of them saying, 'can you do it?'
EF: So I still had to undergo discussions with the Union representatives. They didn't want to disrupt the momentum that Papali as well as our management team had built up. That's where I've come about being appointed as the head coach.
VW: And what's the build up like - are there matches on the horizon in terms of build up games or any substantial sort of competition?
EF: There is a proposed test match against the Black Ferns in June this year and we will also hopefully get some games against some of the local teams and that: hopefully with the Manurewa Rugby side, the Northern Region Maori Women's Harlequins side. Those are some of the Games that we have in the pipeline building up for the World Cup. We had our first camp over the weekend leading into the World Cup. It was pretty good, just involving a lot of fitness testing, just ensuring the players are progressing with their fitness levels.
VW: What are your hopes, what are you guys planning and hoping for in this World Cup? What would be deemed a successful tournament?
EF: The pinnacle is - Fats put it to us before his sad passing - he wanted to make the semi finals and anything after that would be a bonus.
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