New Samoa coaches have links to South

Seilala Mapusua. Photo: Getty Images
Seilala Mapusua. Photo: Getty Images
Two former Highlanders have been named in two of Samoa rugby’s top coaching jobs.

Seilala Mapusua will head coach the national side, while Brian Lima will lead the sevens team.

Mapusua, who has been working as the coach development officer for the Otago Rugby Football Union, has been appointed to the role for two years.

The 40-year-old former midfielder played for Otago from 2000 to 2006, as well as the Highlanders from 2002 to 2006.

He also played 33 tests for Samoa.

Mapusua, who was born in the country, would begin preparing for next season with a focus on the qualifiers for the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

“I’m very honoured and humbled to be a member of the Manu Samoa again," he said in a release.

"I’m excited to return home and get to work in growing and developing Manu Samoa rugby starting from the grassroots.”

Meanwhile, Lima will guide the country’s sevens team.

The 48-year-old had stints with the Highlanders in 1996 and 1999, scoring a try in the 1999 final.

He played for the Samoa 15-a-side team from 1990 to 2007 across a career in which he gained a reputation as a hard-hitting centre and wing.

He also played sevens at various stages and his 17 Sevens World Cup tries are the third most in the tournament’s history, behind Fijian duo Marika Vunibaka and Waisale Serevi.

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