Samoa Sports Lotto committed $500,000 tala to the Samoa Rugby Union yesterday to assist with the Manu Samoa’s preparations for the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.
CEO of the Gambling Control Authority and Samoa Sports Lotto Tuala Siaki Tuala officially launched the $2 tala Samoa Sports Pull Tab game fundraiser at the Samoa National Lotto.
“It will allow the public not only to win prizes, but give towards the national cause of Manu Samoa’s preparations,” he said.
“The public are always asked to donate to these sorts of causes, and this way they can get something back.”
Samoa Rugby Union CEO Faleomavaega Vincent Fepuleai agreed.
“This initiative is good because it gets the whole country involved,” he said.
“Having national pride, that people know whether it’s only 2 tala they put in that it goes to the national team.”
Faleomavaega said it will make people feel part of the campaign.
The Manu Samoa will take a squad of 31 players to Japan for the Rugby World Cup, which starts next September.
“It’s a huge cost to the union, we have made quite a few initiatives and plans to secure funding,” said Faleomavaega.
“Wherever the players are being selected from, the Union is obligated to pay their airfares to Auckland and back before and after we head to Japan, so that is one of the big costs.
“Accommodation, meals, allowances for the players, as well as the technical support with physios and so forth.
“I can’t put a figure on it but it goes into millions.”
Faleomavaega was grateful to the G.C.A. for their support.
“This is not the first time they’ve helped us, we’ve had grants from the G.C.A. in the past,” he said.
Local fans will get two rare chances to see the Manu play on home soil next year.
Samoa will take part in the Pacific Nations Cup along with USA, Tonga and Fiji, before two further warmup games against Tonga and Fiji just before the World Cup.