Press Release

New era begins for Rugby League Samoa

Published by Rugby League Samoa
15 Aug 2023
  • New executive team paves the way for modern era
  • RLS extends partnership with Pacificast
  • Hunt for new Toa Samoa Head Coach under way

Rugby League Samoa (RLS) is undergoing significant changes, heralding a new era under the leadership of a freshly appointed President and Executive Board. The shift comes after the annual general meeting held on 5 July 2023.

The Executive Committee for Rugby League Samoa elected at the AGM to lead RLS through to the next Rugby League World Cup in 2025 is:

President:              Fiu Faaolatane Ponifasio Vasa
Vice President:      Toilolo Klaus Stunzner
Secretary:              Laulu Lafao Leauanae Tuugatiti Leo Leauanae
Treasurer:              Tavui Mike Lemisio 

Rugby League Samoa President for the past 12 years Tagaloa Fa’afouina Sua did not seek re-election stating that it was the right time for him to step down.

Tagaloa steps down with a proud record of achievements including last year’s Rugby League World Cup when Samoa won the hearts of sports fans around the world.

Tuimatafele Fritz Tuavi’i who was Secretary General for Rugby League Samoa for more than 15 years, leaves to take up an appointment as Samoa’s Chef de Mission for the Olympics 2024.

Fiaai Peter Paul who has served as Vice President of RLS for many years did not seek re-election.

Members at the AGM acknowledged the three past executive members and their immense contribution to the development, growth and success of Rugby League Samoa.

New Rugby League Samoa President Fiu Faaolatane Ponifasio Vasa said: “They leave the organisation and the game in a strong position from which to build and grow in the years ahead.

"While we are excited to welcome an injection of new energy and expertise into the governance of Rugby League Samoa, we will work closely with the former executives to ensure a smooth transition. Their advice and mentorship will be a key part of our ability to continue their great work.

"As a new executive Board, we are humbled to be asked to steer Rugby League Samoa into this next chapter of a modern era for our sport.

"We have already seen how one team from a small Pasifika nation can inspire people all over the world.

"We have always loved and treasured our own national teams on the world stage; we are looking forward to leading the organisation into a more innovative and progressive future.”

The RLS Executive Board has set clear objectives for the next six years. These objectives include the development of a strategic plan, with a focus on local development, starting from grassroots initiatives such as primary and secondary schools.

"RLS is firmly committed to nurturing local talent and creating pathways, beginning with grassroots development in schools through to the national resident teams for both men and women," said Fiu.

As an integral part of the strategic plan, RLS is cementing its pre-World Cup commercial arrangement with Pacificast Agency with a formal arrangement that sees it taking on new revenue and brand generation, commercial responsibility and stabilising financial management.

"We are pleased to reaffirm the alliance agreement with Pacificast, entrusted with overseeing all commercial agreements on behalf of Rugby League Samoa,” Fiu said.

“This strategic partnership will serve as a catalyst for building stronger financial outcomes and securing a prosperous future for rugby league in Samoa.”

With the recent departure of former Toa Samoa head coach Mau A Pule Matt Parish, the focus of Rugby League Samoa and Pacificast is prioritising the recruitment of a new head coach and coaching team.

RLS will be advertising Expressions of Interest for all roles this week in preparation for upcoming international fixtures.