Samoa Rugby Team Angry At ‘Childish Behavior’ Of PM

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Tuilaepa accused of ‘bullying tactics’ over pay concerns

By Sam Peters

APIA, Samoa (Samoa Observer, Nov. 17, 2014) – Manu Samoa and England's test match has been plunged back into doubt with Samoa’s players yet again set to strike following incendiary comments from Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi.

The players had written to the International Rugby Board earlier this month threatening to strike over a lack of financial transparency from their country’s governing body.

They complained that their weekly pay of $1,000 was wholly inadequate. England’s players earn $18,000 a match plus hefty win bonuses. Strike action appeared to have been averted last week following behind-closed-doors discussions between players, union representatives and figures from the I.R.B.

But next Saturday night’s clash is again under significant threat as Samoa’s players reacted angrily to being accused of ‘childish behaviour’ by Prime Minister Tuilaepa, who is also Chairman of the Samoa Rugby Union.

"I’ve been in contact with the current players and I’ve been in this position myself," said recent international Junior Polu.

"What the Prime Minister has said is pretty much using bullying tactics."

You’ve got to commend the players for trying to make a change without getting the media involved, but it’s the Prime Minister who’s running his mouth off. There is definitely a chance the Samoa players could boycott the England game.

"Perhaps we should have done it [gone on strike] in the past. Now is the best time to boycott that game and stand up against the corruption to force those idiots out of the union. Polu questioned the accountability and transparency of the Union.

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