On October 27, Samoa International Rugby players raised serious concerns with the International Rugby Board (IRB) and the International Rugby Players Association (IRPA) regarding the governance and management of the Samoan Rugby Union (SRU). Members of the squad indicated that they would withdraw from their Test against England on November 22nd if their concerns were not heard.
The proposed action was withdrawn after agreement was reached between the Samoan players association PIPA, IRPA and the IRB to engage in dialogue to facilitate a collaborative and positive resolution to the concerns.
The Samoa International players outlined their concerns following their ongoing frustration at what they feel has been a significant period of substandard administration and governance within their National Union from the grass roots through to the international level.
As it currently stands the players lack confidence in the SRU and their operations, and believe strongly that things need to change once and for all. In the past attempts by the players to raise their concerns with the SRU have been unsuccessful. The players believe that they were left with no other course of action in order to ensure positive change for the benefit of Samoa Rugby.
The first meeting took place yesterday, Saturday 15th November at which IRPA and the Samoa players engaged in good discussion and information sharing with the IRB. Unfortunately the SRU chose not to have representation at the meeting.
With IRPA support it is the Samoan International players’ strong desire to work with the SRU and IRB and engage on these issues with a view to developing positive outcomes for the benefit of Samoa Rugby. They are now asking the SRU to commit to meaningful communication and discussion on the issues with all parties.
IRPA Executive Director Rob Nichol:
“IRPA and the Samoan International players are committed to working alongside the IRB to ensure positive discussions with the SRU, all with a focus on what is best for the future of rugby in Samoa. IRPA believes that with the support of the IRB it is important that the SRU take up the opportunity and come to the table willing to engage meaningfully on the issues. From our perspective that would be a good first step in resolving this situation – without meaningful communication things will not improve