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Last Updated: Tuesday, 21 October, 2003, 13:39 GMT 14:39 UK
Jones calls for Samoan rescue
Samoa assistant coach Michael Jones
Jones is anxious about Samoa's international future
Samoa assistant coach Michael Jones has called on rugby chiefs to help rescue the country's national team.

The Pacific Islanders have been unable to pick their full-strength side with a host of players contracted to play in both Europe and New Zealand.

And Jones said rules needed to change to ensure Samoa's competitive future.

He said: "We are struggling to survive. The IRB has a framework in place in which we are supposed to flourish but we are not flourishing."

Samoa are without hooker Trevor Leota, who opted to stay and play for English side Wasps during the tournament rather than represent his country because of money concerns.

Also missing from the squad is Waikato full-back Loki Crichton - uncapped to date by Samoa but unable to make the World Cup due to commitments in New Zealand's national provincial championships (NPC).

And the Samoan-born Jones, who was capped 55 times by New Zealand, said: "He (Crichton) wants to play. He wants to play for the Manu, but we were actually stopped from having him.

"We asked to have him but they said no, he had to play NPC rugby for Waikato and we are heading into one of the biggest games of our lives [against England on Sunday].

"I'm not saying he would have been in the starting line-up but what I am saying is there is potentially a good kid who is good enough to be at a World Cup but because of the present professional set-up he is sitting at home watching on television.

"That's a disaster."

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