Samoa Rugby Coach Muliagatele Brian Lima Resigns

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Well-known sportsman recently charged for assaulting ex-wife

By Jasmine Netzler

APIA, Samoa (Samoa Observer, Jan. 6, 2014) – Manu Samoa defence coach, Muliagatele Brian Lima has resigned.

His resignation from all "active roles" within Samoan rugby was confirmed by the Chairman of the Samoa Rugby Union (SRU) and Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi.

In a letter handed to the Union before the end of 2013, Tuilaepa said the legendary Manu Samoa figure also apologised to the Union. The Chairman did not say what the apology was for.

However, the resignation follows a public outcry over an incident involving the assistant Manu Samoa coach and his former wife, Lemalu Sina Retzlaff.

Last month, Lemalu, a prominent businesswoman and former president of the Samoa Chamber of Commerce, broke her silence over the abuse she allegedly received during the relationship.

Lemalu went public after she was allegedly attacked by Muliagatele at a local bar, leaving her with two black eyes, cuts and a badly bruised face.

Muliagatele was arrested, charged with causing actual bodily harm and being armed with a dangerous weapon.

He is to appear before the Court on Monday next week.

The Police have obtained his travel documents and have ordered him not to approach or have contact with Lemalu.

Meanwhile, Lemalu has taken out a protection order against him.

Speaking to the Samoa Observer at his home on Saturday night, Chairman Tuilaepa said Muliagatele’s decision to step down saved the SRU from having to make a decision on his future.

Tuilaepa said Lima has resigned as "he tries to solve issues in their family."

The Prime Minister said he has urged the Assistant Manu Samoa coach to reconcile with his former wife so they can move on.

Tuilaepa declined to discuss details about Muliagatele and Lemalu’s relationship saying it was a "delicate matter."

"Remember every coin has two sides," he said. "I think they are going through a very delicate and sensitive time in their relationship."

Tuilaepa reminded that the problems between the two are not new and he wished them all the best in their attempts to resolve them.

Prior to his resignation, Muliagatele was Manu Samoa’s defence coach. He was also the Head Coach of Samoa A.

Lima, who earned 65 test caps for Samoa, is the only player to have appeared at five Rugby World Cups.

He is an International Rugby Board Hall of Famer who is remembered by his fans as someone who left opposition players reeling with his fearsome tackling ability.

The man, simply known as "The Chiropractor" in rugby circles, could not be contacted for a comment yesterday.

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