Former midfielder Seilala Mapusua has been unveiled as the new head coach of Manu Samoa, the country the 40-year-old played for on 33 occasions and represented at two World Cup.
Having forged his reputation as an explosive running back at the Highlanders, Mapusua enjoyed a successful stint at London Irish before time was called on his Test career with a 2013 appearance versus South Africa.
Eliminated at the recent World Cup in Japan with just a single win in four pool stage matches, Samoa had been on the lookout for a coaching successor to Steve Jackson, the Maori All Black recruited in 2018.
In a statement, Samoan RU CEO Faleomavaega Vincent Fepuleai claimed Mapusua had emerged as the preferred candidate following an extensive and vigorous recruitment process.
“On behalf of Samoa Rugby Union, I want to congratulate Mapusua on his appointment and we wish him well for this new phase in the Manu Samoa history,” he said.
“We are delighted with the appointment of Mapusua and we look forward to working closely with him and his new management to help improve our Manu Samoa results.
“SRU will now begin work with Mapusua on building a solid team of technical and management staff around him as they prepare for the 2021 season, namely the Rugby World Cup 2023 qualifying matches for the Manu Samoa against our rivals Tonga in July/August 2021.”
Recommended by a five-person selection panel, Mapusua was endorsed and ratified by the Samoa rugby board at its meeting on Tuesday for a two-year period.
Mapusua added: “I’m very honoured and humbled to be a member of the Manu Samoa again. I’m excited to return home and get to work in growing and developing Manu Samoa rugby starting from the grassroots.”
Brian Lima, another famed former Samoan international, has also been taken on by the Samoa RU, the 48-year-old appointed as the new coach of the sevens side.
Just 3??more sleeps to go?? https://t.co/g55raTdAKI
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) August 11, 2020
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