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​​​Manu Samoa vs Tonga in 2021. ​​​

​​​Manu Samoa vs Tonga in 2021. ​​​

Photo/Manu Samoa Facebook


Former Manu Samoan great: 'Their flair and ability to express themselves has been taken out'

Rugby analyst Ofisa Tonu'u believes some Pacific nations' style of play has changed - and not necessarily for the better.

Matt Manukuo
Matt Manukuo
27 September 2023, 4:56pm
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​Pacific players who have returned to play for their home nation, have had their style of rugby "institutionalised" according to rugby analyst Ofisa Tonu'u.

Tonu’u, who's played for both the All Blacks and Manu Samoa, says the top players who have gone back to play for their home nation need to return to a style of play that brings back the “flair” of Pacific footy.

“It’s really great to see those players who have played for the tier one nations, New Zealand, Australia," he says.

“[But] I tend to see them a little more institutionalised in the way they play. Their flair and their ability to express themselves on the field has almost been taken out of them from being involved in those teams.

“So, when it comes time to throw the ball and be very instinctive with their play, it just wasn’t there.”

Tonu’u says though it’s good to have these players back, it will take some time to adapt to the “island style” of rugby.


“I say that respectfully and they need something to break up those pictures, on attack and on defense.

“[Remember] that young boy that used to play in the backyard with his mates would step and jam and find a way through.

“The defense will always give you answers on where to attack but we just haven’t seen those pictures.”

Watch the full interview below or go to 531pi's Facebook​ page to like and share.

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