Samoa boss tries to downplay crisis

Date published: November 25 2014

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Samoan leader and rugby chief Tuilaepa Aiono Sailele Malielegaoi believes the ongoing issues between the SRU and the players are over.

Samoan leader and rugby chief Tuilaepa Aiono Sailele Malielegaoi believes the ongoing issues between the SRU and the players are over.

Tuilaepa has rejected talk of a crisis, after the players threatened to pull out of their Test match with England over a number of urgent demands for better governance.

Tuilaepa has flippantly responded that the matter is resolved, with the message to the players being for them to focus on their own game rather than off-field matters.

“I explained to them that their function is to play,” Tuilaepa told TVNZ.

“You don’t get yourselves involved in management. No players anywhere will do that.”

The Prime Minister also hinted that any progress with regards to improving the conditions for Samoa’a player would hinge on their performances on the pitch.

Samoa players have to pay for their own travel allowances and are paid a minimal budget per week during Test windows.

“I also told them we’ll try [to improve things], but it’s a two way thing if they are able to perform well then we will be able to raise the necessary sponsorships and they understand now.”

A statement from the International Rugby Players Association however counters that claim comprehensively, with both the IRPA and World Rugby waiting to speak to the SRU after they failed to attends two meetings in the last ten days.

“The situation is absolutely not under control, there’s a lack of urgency from the Samoan rugby union to address issues and frustrations are building within the rugby community.”

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