Samoa achieved their best finish so far on the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series in Vancouver where they walked away with the Plate after beating the USA 31-19.

However it has been a mixed season for the Pacific islanders so far. At the opening round of the series in Dubai, coach Damian McGrath's side reached the Plate semi-final, losing to New Zealand. Injuries have been plentiful but a few playes have risen to the challenge, namely newcomer Phoenix Hunapo-Nofoa.

With a background in touch rugby, Hunapo-Nofoa has been a star for Samoa so far on the series with blistering footwork and trademark celebrations. Combining with the likes of fellow try scoring machine Samoa Toloa, Hunapo-Nofoahas been able to show his skills garnered playing touch in New Zealand, where he joined the Warriors development squad. 

“It is a huge honor and I cherish every moment I put on that blue jersey with the boys,” he recently told the Samoa Observer. “Every time I’m on that field I make sure I don’t disappoint Samoa and I understand the importance of taking the country’s name with me.”

With their best result recently in Vancouver, the 21-year-old is confident that Samoa can continue to improve as they head into rounds seven and eight of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series in Hong Kong and Singapore. 

“The Manu sevens team is doing a lot of things behind the scenes and working hard, I want to just urge the public and the fans to bear with us at this stage of rebuilding,” he said. “We are getting better as you can see in Vancouver and Vegas. Hopefully with a bit of consistency we will get to the level Samoa ought to be.”