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Peter Fatialofa
"We have had this problem for the last 10 or 15 years"
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Chris Rae with BBC Wales' Steffan Garrero
"All the money made by the World Cup goes back into the game"
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Thursday, 9 November, 2000, 19:29 GMT
Fatialofa calls for IRB seat
Fatialofa cools off under a Samoan waterfall
Peter Fatialofa wants an IRB seat for Samoa
Samoa's assistant coach Peter Fatialofa has called for the Pacific Nations to have a place on the International Rugby Board.

The Samoans have been hit by the withdrawal of top players on their tour to the UK with arguments over pay, insurance and tour preparation time.

"Unless we get someone on the IRB to let them know we are struggling, we will have difficulty maintaining our players and stopping them drifting overseas," Fatialofa said.

"New Zealand rugby is our caretaker as far as [the IRB] is concerned, but it would be good to have a Pacific Islands person to represent us," he added.

Fatialofa, who criticised Samoan star Inga Tuigamala earlier in the week for not touring, was again outspoken on the subject of money.

"It is not an issue - we can't talk about what we can't fix," he said.

A seat on the IRB would make the problem easier to fix, according to the coach.

IRB spokesman Chris Rae maintained the Samoans were recipients of substantial funds from the IRB.

"In effect Samoa has benefited to the tune of 200,000 from the IRB over the last year," he said.

Rae was also at pains to stress that his organisation looked after the interests of its members, but accepted that the boycott of the tour by some of Samoa's top stars was not good for the image of the game.

With regard to Fatialofa's call for a seat on the International Rugby Board, Rae said: "If that is the way they feel, I am sure it will come up for discussion at the board meeting next week."

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See also:

08 Nov 00 |  Wales
Samoa name their side
07 Nov 00 |  Rugby Union
Inga under fire
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