Lakapi Samoa has announced that its two elite teams, the Manu Samoa and Manu Samoa 7s have withdrawn from its scheduled Northern hemisphere tour in November and the two HSBC Sevens World series legs in Dubai in November and early December 2021.
The decision by the Lakapi Samoa Board was taken in line with the relevant Samoa Government’s Health Special Travel Advice and recognising further Covid-related challenges in relation to players based in New Zealand.
“Lakapi Samoa CEO, Faleomavaega Vincent Fepuleai said that; “Lakapi Samoa was not able to guarantee the safety of any of our players and management whilst on campaign and the current SOE measures by the Government restricts the return of any one within 6 months of contacting the virus. This was a major obstacle to keep our borders safe. We do accept the implications and scale of consequences the pandemic can have to our small Country with limited resources”
Manu Samoa Head Coach Seilala Mapusua added; It’s disappointing and really tough for our players, fans and our hosting Unions. As Head Coach, our performance and reputation to our brand is severely hampered if we cannot get our team together”. However, the safety and well-being of protecting Samoa from the current Covid-19 variant pandemic was ultimately the right call.”
Lakapi Samoa has the full assistance of World Rugby to find any potential short term competition solutions while redoubling efforts to ensure a strong programme of matches in 2022 and beyond. Both parties are committed to secure a “Manu Samoa selection” fixture against the UK Barbarians, involving Europe-based players and coaches.
SOURCE: LAKAPI SAMOA/PACNEWS