Schwalger named Samoa coach until 2027 Rugby World Cup

Former Samoa rugby captain Mase Mahonri Schwalger has been appointed head coach of the national side through to the end of the 2027 Rugby World Cup in Australia.

Nihan - Uniforumtz
Former national team captain Mase Schwalger (C) has been named head coach of Samoa through to the 2027 Rugby World Cup © GABRIEL BOUYS / AFP/File
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The Samoan Rugby Union has ushered in a new era by appointing former national team captain Mase Mahonri Schwalger as the head coach of the Manu Samoa, with a tenure extending to the 2027 Rugby World Cup in Australia. This decision marks a significant milestone for Samoan rugby, entrusting the future of the team to a homegrown hero who has already etched his name into the annals of Pacific rugby history.

Former national team captain Mase Schwalger (C) has been named head coach of Samoa through to the 2027 Rugby World Cup © GABRIEL BOUYS / AFP/File
Former national team captain Mase Schwalger (C) has been named head coach of Samoa through to the 2027 Rugby World Cup © GABRIEL BOUYS / AFP/File

A Legacy Cemented

At 45 years old, Schwalger’s rugby career is one that young Samoan players look up to with reverence. His tenure as a hooker saw him earn 40 test caps and lead Samoa with distinction to the 2011 Rugby World Cup. His leadership on the field was matched by his skills, making him a formidable presence in international rugby.

A Journey Through Rugby

Schwalger’s experience isn’t limited to the international stage. He has left his mark in Super Rugby, having played for the Highlanders, Hurricanes, and Chiefs. His career also saw him venturing overseas, adding European flair to his rugby portfolio with stints at Llanelli Scarlets in Wales and Sale Sharks in England. In 2014, Schwalger hung up his boots, but his passion for the game never faded.

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A New Challenge Awaits

As an assistant to head coach Vaovasamanaia Seilala Mapusua during last year’s World Cup in France, Schwalger gained invaluable experience, despite Samoa’s early exit after only one win against Chile. This experience has undoubtedly prepared him for the challenges ahead.

In a statement released on Tuesday, Schwalger expressed his profound humility and eagerness at being given this opportunity. “Representing one’s country, whether as a coach or player, is the pinnacle of sporting achievement,” he said. His anticipation for the journey ahead is palpable and shared by Samoan rugby fans around the world.

Upcoming Endeavors

Schwalger’s immediate focus will be on preparing the national team for a busy international schedule. Samoa is set to host Italy and Spain in July, offering a chance to showcase their progress under new leadership on home soil. Following this, the Pacific Nations Cup awaits in August, where Samoa will compete against teams like Canada, USA, Fiji, Japan, and Tonga. This tournament will serve as a litmus test for Schwalger’s coaching strategies and team cohesion.

The Road to 2027 Rugby World Cup

Looking towards the future, all eyes are on the 2027 Rugby World Cup. With Schwalger at the helm until then, Samoa has a clear vision and a steady hand guiding them. The hope is that his leadership will not only bring success on the field but also inspire a new generation of Samoan rugby players.


Mase Mahonri Schwalger’s appointment as head coach is a testament to his dedication to Samoan rugby. His journey from captain to coach is a story of commitment, passion, and an unyielding love for the game. As Samoa embarks on this new chapter, fans can rest assured that their national team is in capable hands.

For Samoa, Schwalger’s appointment is more than just a coaching change; it’s an investment in a man who embodies the spirit of Samoan rugby. The next few years under his guidance promise growth, resilience, and hopefully, triumphs that will resonate through the heart of Samoa and across the rugby world.

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