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Ieremia wants Manu Samoa to stay focused

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 15/06/2017

Samoa Rugby coach Alama Ieremia. © Dave Rowland/Getty Images Samoa Rugby coach Alama Ieremia. Samoa can expect plenty of backing when they take on the All Blacks in Auckland and coach Alama Ieremia wants his players to keep their emotions in check.

Ieremia says his squad have embraced the "amazing" support they have received from the local Samoan community since they assembled last weekend.

"Like anything, we have to make sure the emotions are in check," he said ahead of the Test on Friday night.

"So pretty relaxed, but we have to make sure we focus that energy in the right areas."

Ieremia said the players were humbled by the reception they received at welcome functions.

"Manu Samoa is a people's team and to see people turn up - it's been good for these players," he said.

"We've got a lot of new players as well, so they've only heard about it, but they felt it on Saturday and we've embraced it."

The squad of 35 for Samoa's June and July internationals contain eight uncapped players, three of whom are in the 23-strong line-up to face the All Blacks.

The Test will be the seventh between the two countries, with New Zealand having won the previous six.

The first, and the only other one staged at Eden Park, was in 1993, when Ieremia was Samoa's second five-eighth in a 35-13 defeat.

He went on to play 30 times for the All Blacks, including in a 71-13 win over Samoa in Albany in 1999.

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