Moana Pasifika

Crusaders half-back is the second player to sign with Moana Pasifika

The 24-year-old has five Super Rugby titles under his belt and is currently playing for Hawke's Bay in New Zealand's domestic National Provincial Championship competition.

Enari joins former Wallabies first five Christian Leali'ifano who was confirmed as Moana Pasifika's first major signing on Thursday.

Two more players are expected to be announced today.


Christian Leali'ifano confirmed as Moana Pasifika's first major signing


The 34 year-old has an impressive career total of 171 points with the Australian national side between 2013 and 2019, including a Rugby World Cup campaign.

Leali'ifano was a key playmaker in Brumbies Super Rugby campaigns between 2008 and 2019 with 150 Super Rugby appearances.

In 2016 he was diagnosed with leukemia. After a successful bone marrow transplant he returned to Super Rugby in 2017 before heading overseas for a short stint in Ireland's Pro14 and European Rugby Champions Cup with Ulster.

Moana Pasifka to confirm Aaron Mauger as coach

RNZ Pacific first reported in July that the former All Black would take charge of the Super Rugby newcomers, with Filo Tiatia as his assistant coach.

Moana Pasifika posted on social media last night that the team's head coach would be revealed soon, with a silhouette that clearly matched the 45 test veteran.

The 40-year-old is of Samoan, Cook Islands and Tahitian descent and was a part of the Moana Pasifika coaching team for last year's one-off clash against the Māori All Blacks.

Moana Pasifika to call Mt Smart home

The Penrose-based venue has been the home of the New Zealand Warriors since 1995, where they began their jounrey as a start-up franchise.

Moana Pasifika patron Tuifa'asisina Sir Bryan Williams said they were humbled to share Mt Smart as its home playing base.

"We've worked extremely hard to get to this point, and to have a sense of home and place to continue building our unique brand in the world's most competitive professional competition is huge," he said.

Aaron Mauger backed to succeed as Moana Pasifika coach

The Auckland-based franchise was yesterday granted an unconditional licence to join an expanded competition next year.

RNZ Pacific understands former Highlanders coach Aaron Mauger, who is of Samoan and Cook Islands descent, will lead the team in 2022, with fellow former All Black Filo Tiatia coming on board as an assistant coach.

Mauger was a part of the Moana Pasifika coaching staff against the Māori All Blacks last year and Kefu believed it was a good fit.

"Very good coaches, very capable," he said of the impending appointments.

Moana Pasifika granted unconditional licence to join revamped Super Rugby in 2022

Exactly what that competition looks like remains to be seen but the granting of an unconditional licence on Monday means the Moana Pasifika club can now focus towards it with certainty.

As Stuff revealed earlier on Monday, Moana Pasifika has placed recruitment on hold for the past few weeks, dramatically hampering its ability to build a competitive squad for the 2022 competition due to the uncertainty of only holding a conditional licence.

Moana Pasifika to be confirmed in Super Rugby

New Zealand Rugby awarded the franchise a conditional licence in April to join a revamped competition, alongside five teams from New Zealand, five from Australia and the Fijian Drua.

Confirmation was expected last month but complications over finance, the competition format and getting buy-in from Rugby Australia led to extended delays.

RNZ Pacific has been told an announcement will be made today confirming Moana Pasifika's licence to compete next season.

Tuipulotu's mixed emotions on Moana Pasifika

Granted conditional entrance from next season, alongside the Fijian Drua, the new side was expected to be mostly made up of those playing for a Pacific Island country or on that pathway.

But the squad was also likely to feature a small number of players aligned to other test teams, including potentially the All Blacks.

That could mean New Zealand's five Super teams could be at risk of losing players, with the Blues very much in that category as a franchise based in a region of strong Pacific Island population.

Moana Pasifika reveal 20 per cent of squad could still be available for All Blacks

Speaking on Sky’s The Breakdown show on Monday evening, Moana Pasifika general manager Kevin Senio said that 80 per cent of the Moana Pasifika squad would either be already playing for a Pacific Islands nations such as Samoa or Tonga, or on that pathway.

That would invariably strengthen the test squad of the Pacific Island nations, but it also means that eight players out of their squad of 38 will be available for the All Blacks, Australia, or any other test nation.

“What we've done is use the New Zealand model and flicked it on its head,” Senio said.

Tongan internationals eye up place in 2022 Moana Pasifika squad

New Zealand Rugby announced on Wednesday that Moana Pasifika and the Fijian Drua had been granted conditional licences to compete in a new professional competition that will feature the 10 New Zealand and Australian Super Rugby franchises from next year onwards.

The final sign-off for both teams’ licences, which is dependent on their final business plans and Rugby Australia’s support, is expected by the end of June.