The World Sevens Series champions, have the British immigration system to thank for being able to call on the services of the outstanding player in the sevens game this weekend.
Mikaele Pesamino earned himself a move to the Sale Sharks an English Premiership side riding on his great form in rugby’s abbreviated format.
Samoa’s maiden world series title campaign last term was uplifted by the tries he provided, but his expected move to the UK was supposed to cause him his participation this season.
But in a strange turn of events, he has yet to play for Sale and has been handed a sevens reprieve until the New Year because of visa issues. This is because of an English exam in January as part of his application for a work visa. This delayed visa has stalled him from joining the ranks of the sharks.
On the bright side it means he is available for Samoa sevens in the opening two legs of the series – in Dubai this weekend and George, South Africa, next week – providing a fillip for his side, as well as the spectators at The Sevens.
Even with Despite Pesamino’s presence, the favourites tag eludes the Samoans. It is New Zealand who walk in as the favourites in this weekend’s IRB tournament as they are the defending Dubai champions.
New Zealand also won gold at the recent Commonwealth Games in Delhi, and, despite making six changes to their squad for the Dubai Sevens, they remain the team to beat.
The only leading side who have managed to retain the majority of their squad from last season are England. Seven of their 12-man squad are centrally contracted to England sevens, and Ben Gollings, their captain, hopes familiarity will breed success.P.S. Be sure to pin this article in case you need to share it with a friend later on!