New man in charge of Samoan Sevens fortunes

(IRB.COM) Wednesday 2 May 2012
New man in charge of Samoan Sevens fortunes
Samoa's fans will be hoping Lalomilo can take Samoa back to World Series-winning ways

The face is familiar to all involved in Sevens but the name perhaps less so, and now also the job title: Tausa Faamaoni Lalomilo, Samoa Sevens head coach.

For the past few years gentle giant Lalomilo has been Team Manager and assistant to Stephen Betham, and his was one of the beaming smiles when the islanders won the 2009/10 IRB Sevens World Series.

With Betham now promoted to Manu Samoa 15-a-side head coach, Lalomilo was recently confirmed as the new man in charge of the country's fortunes in Sevens.

"It's a great opportunity and an honour for me to take this new post, I'm very happy to carry on the work done by Stephen Betham and to serve Samoa and the players in this sport of Sevens," he said.

Lalomilo, 41, hails from Safotu and Falefa in Samoa. He played for the Samoan Development side from 1991 and made his full international debut in 1994 as a back row player. By the time he retired from international rugby in 2002 he had moved forward to play in the front row.

Prior to joining the Samoa set-up he coached the Mary St Josephs club for four years, mirroring Betham's own step-up into the international arena.

"I'm so happy to have worked with Stephen, I know him well and he's a good coach. The boys actually congratulated him on his appointment. This position of Sevens coach creates opportunities to reach that level, but it depends on the results you have when you are in the job,” added Tausa.

Alongside him now is Samoa's new Team Manager, Fataalii Milovale Moke, a former Manu Samoa player and National Provincial Cup Coach. In their first tournament challenge together they will look to plot a course past New Zealand, France and Spain in the pool stages of the Emirates Airline Glasgow Sevens this weekend.

"I only took over the team one and a half weeks ago, so it's been a quick decision by the union. But this has been a dream ever since I was coaching club level back home, so now I'm here I'm very happy to take the opportunity.

“The boys are totally focusing on the last two remaining tournaments of the circuit and are looking forward to finishing on a high note.”