Productive talks over Samoa’s future

Date published: February 18 2015

The Samoa Rugby Union (SRU) and World Rugby have concluded positive and constructive talks regarding the blueprint and implementation of wide-ranging governance reforms aimed at enhancing Samoa’s performance on and off the field of play.
The talks in Apia between union officials and a World Rugby delegation followed initial discussions between SRU Chairman and Samoa Prime Minister, the Hon Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi and World Rugby Chairman Bernard Lapasset in Europe in December. 
A key outcome of the meetings was renewed commitment by the SRU to implement agreed governance, management and financial accountability reforms with the guidance and support of World Rugby. 
Positive steps were taken after recommendations from an independent KPMG report, commissioned by the SRU, were adopted to form the basis of driving reform. As a result a technical reform steering committee has been established comprising SRU, World Rugby and independent representatives to oversee implementation. 
With Rugby World Cup 2015 eight months away and a major target for the Samoa national team to impress on rugby’s greatest stage, the talks also centred on the draft discussion protocol under consideration by the SRU and tabled by the Pacific Island Players’ Association (PIPA). 
The protocol is designed to provide an appropriate formal framework for discussions between the parties. The outcome of these discussions will be to develop an agreement between Samoa Rugby Union and the Samoan international rugby players on how they will work together for the benefit of Samoan rugby moving forward. It is expected this discussion protocol will be finalised this coming week with talks between the parties to commence immediately.
Hon Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi said: “Samoan rugby has a big global potential. The governance, management and accountability structures and processes of the Samoa Rugby Union must be on par with the international best practice of similar international sporting organisations if Samoa is to fully realise and bring out the best of its relatively large natural rugby talent pool. Therefore the Samoa Rugby Union is most appreciative of the commitment, support and funding of the reforms by World Rugby.”
World Rugby Head of Development and International Relations David Carrigy said: “We are encouraged with the outcomes from what was a highly-constructive and positive set of meetings. We are pleased with the SRU’s full commitment to reform and we look forward to working with the union as appropriate to implement the foundations that will enable Samoa to realise its potential on and off the field.”