Build­ing depth for Samoa

Fiji Sun - - Sport - JUSTINE MANNAN Feed­back: justine.mannan@fi­

Sir Gor­don Ti­et­jens aims to build depth in the Samoan team when he of­fi­cially coaches the team on Jan­uary 28.

The 60-year-old is look­ing to change the out­look of the Samoan team mak­ing them more pro­fes­sional in the way they play but also bring­ing in more play­ers to have a wide se­lec­tion base.

“I will be look­ing to build depth and putting high per­for­mance in place,” Sir Gor­don said. “We’ve got a lot of play­ers who want to play for Samoa which is a good be­cause when you do strike in­jury you have play­ers that could step in and per­form.” The sev­ens leg­end is cur­rently in the coun­try with the Samoan team for the Ocea­nia 7s to get a grasp of the team in ac­tion ahead of the World Sev­ens Se­ries which starts next month.

“This is a great tour­na­ment, it is a tour­na­ment that we need be­cause the World Se­ries is only three weeks away,” he said.

“It is games like th­ese that are re­ally vi­tal for us be­ing sev­ens fit and of course all the teams are of good stan­dard so it makes it even bet­ter.

“Samoa is re­ally go­ing well, there are a lot of new young boys that have not played at this level be­fore so the game time is ob­vi­ously good for them. “They have only con­ceded one try in the tour­na­ment and scored about 80 points so I am pleased with them.” Samoa will play New Cale­do­nia in their last pool game to­day at the ANZ Sta­dium in Suva. Edited by Osea Bola

Laaloi Leiua leads the charge for Samoa against Cook Is­lands.

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