Samoa coach John Boe has made an impassioned plea for his side to be included in a new-look Super 12 or Tri-Nations competition.
The New Zealander saw his adopted country fail to reach the World Cup's
knock-out stages for the first time after crashing to a record 60-10 defeat
to South Africa.
Boe admits he does not know when he will next see his players
Despite pushing England so close in Melbourne, Samoa have had to do without key English-based players and others contracted to play in New Zealand's National Provincial Championship.
"If we can get a team in the Super 12, that would be fantastic," said Boe.
"We could pay our players and extend our player pool.
"These players would never look back if they could play at the same
intensity as they did against England every week.
"The same would apply if we could get into the Tri-Nations competition. We
need a bigger player pool and we can't allow New Zealand to lock up so many
of our players.
"Why can't the ones who are not going to be All Blacks - and that is the
majority - play for us?
"Why should they be denied the opportunity to go to the World Cup? It is a
shame for them and it is killing us."
Boe admitted he does not even know when he will see his players again, as
they prepare to disperse to all corners of the globe.
"Hopefully we will assemble next year at some stage, but we have no idea who we will be playing," he added.
"It is all up in the air."
With television contracts covering the Super 12 and Tri-Nations tournaments
running out in 2005, Samoa assistant coach Michael Jones reiterated Boe's
call for action.
"We could be sitting here in four years - if Samoa are competing - talking
about the same things if nothing is done," said the former All Blacks
"We need strong leadership, true vision and real, practical solutions. We
need to sit down and talk with the key movers and shakers, our big brothers
at the New Zealand and Australian Rugby Unions.
"But that has not happened yet in my time with the team."