Samoa players show appreciation for Public’s support
Manu Samoa players have today thanked everyone who supported the #HelpSamoa campaign of November 2017.
The campaign, organised by Pacific Rugby Players Welfare - and strongly supported by the greater rugby public including fellow international and club players - was launched to raise awareness and funds, after it was revealed none of the proceeds from Tier 1 hosted matches are shared with Tier 2 Visiting sides. Manu Samoa players themselves received a mere £650 per man to play against England in front of a sell-out Twickenham stadium.
(Read more details in this Guardian story from November)
In light of the financial difficulties experienced by the Samoan Rugby Union and other struggling nations, over £10K was raised via crowd funding to support Manu Samoa's preparation for the November 25th Test match.
Manu Samoa captain Chris Vui said "On behalf of myself and my Manu Samoa teammates, we would like to thank everyone who shared and contributed to the #HelpSamoa campaign."
"The gap in resources between Tier 1, 2 and 3 teams is widening, and as the game becomes increasingly professional, the ability for lesser funded sides to prepare and compete at the top table becomes more difficult" Vui said.
"Playing for Samoa is never about the money, but the awareness raised through this campaign will hopefully have a positive impact on the future of Samoan, Pacific and Tier 2 Nations rugby moving forward."
Pacific Rugby Players Welfare Director, Dan Leo supported Vui's calls for World Rugby to step in and establish a fairer revenue model which would help sustain and grow smaller rugby nations.
"Teams like the Pacific Islands will always struggle to make any sort of profit through games staged at home." Leo said.
"The only way Tier 2 & 3 teams can hope to compete and develop long-term is for Tier 1 Nations to share their profits."
"This cant just be token 'gifts' as we've recently experienced either." He said. "A properly enforced percentage of match day gate-takings generated at games involving Tier 2 teams is the only way this will be sustainable"
"Rugby prides itself on its core values of equality and inclusivity" Leo said. "The rugby public have shown this in spades. Its now time that those values are reflected by the Unions of Tier 1 sides and our Governing body."