Samoa PM Calls On Country To Support Rugby Squad

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Countdown is on for historic Manu Samoa, All Blacks game

APIA, Samoa (Samoa Observer, June 23, 2015) – Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi, has issued a rallying call for Samoa to wear blue in support of the Manu Samoa.

The call is extended to everyone, including the men collecting firewood in the villages.

The Prime Minister’s call is made as the countdown to the All Blacks historical visit reaches the 16-day mark. Yesterday, the Manu Samoa began their camp for the All Blacks at the St. Therese Retreat Centre at Leauva’a.

"The crowd is very important," Tuilaepa said. "For people with tickets to the game, they should all wear blue".

The call to wear blue is not confined to game day, which is Wednesday, 8 July 2015. "For that week from Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, we encourage you all to wear blue wherever you are.

"If you’re going uphill to collect firewood, wear blue. Everywhere you go, wear blue. This is very important".

The Prime Minister, who is also the Chairman of the Samoa Rugby Union, said the idea is for the "players to entertain us and we also entertain the players. That way, we can remove the fear from the players".

The Prime Minister also called on the business community to join the party by placing well wish messages on the media. He encouraged them to use the Television stations available as well as the newspapers.

"That dead newspaper called the Observer, the other dead newspaper run by that boy Pio and other dead newspapers like the Iniini, give them some ads," he said. "Help those dead newspapers, especially the Observer, give them ads so that the players can read it".

Asked about the team’s preparations, Tuilaepa said the coaches have been working hard to make sure the team is in shape.

"Fitness is very important. You can do so much more when you’re fit. But when you want to sidestep on an empty tank, you can’t do much".

Tuilaepa added that he has advised the coaches to make sure the players are not just fit but they are also puffed up to ensure they can win the contact and physical exchanges.

"The Union is very happy with the players," he said. "Their training is underway because it is not an easy game since they are playing in front of Samoa. This is their time to show us their skills".

The Chairman also spoke about the importance mental toughness.

"That’s the biggest challenge. If the player thinks they’re going to lose, they will. But if they have a positive attitude and if they think they’re going to win, they will win".

Tuilaepa reminded that the test will be televised live throughout Samoa and Bluesky will mount gigantic screens all over the country so that people can get behind their team.

In the meantime, $40 general admission tickets are still available at Bluesky for the game.

"You know Samoans, they will jump in at the last minute," Samoa Rugby Union Acting C.E.O, Faleomavaega Vincent Fepulea’i said.

As for the decision on whether a one-minute silence will be held in memory of the late Jerry Collins before the match, this will be finalized soon.

Faleomavaega said that it was left to the New Zealand Rugby Union to contact and discuss this with Jerry Collins family, for a final decision.

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