Moana Pasifika

Moana Pasifika SR franchise will be another All Blacks feeder team: ex-Wallaby

Earlier this week, New Zealand Rugby announced that Moana Pasifika and Fijian Drua were given conditional licences to join a new Super Rugby competition from next year.

Ex-All Blacks great Sir Michael Jones described the move as “a real groundbreaking moment in the journey for Pacific rugby”, but Turinui was sceptical of the benefits for the likes of Manu Samoa and Tonga at international level.

“To put it simply, Moana Pasifika look to be another NZ franchise who will funnel players through to the All Blacks,” Turinui wrote in the Sydney Morning Herald.

"A dream come true" - Fiji celebrates Super Rugby milestone

New Zealand Rugby made the announcement at a press conference in Auckland yesterday afternoon, which was watched live by a jubilant group of FRU staff at Rugby House in Suva.

FRU Chairman, Conway Beg labelled it one of the most exciting developments in the history of Fiji Rugby.

"To be able to field a team in Super Rugby is a dream come true for our Union, our country, and our players," he said.

New Zealand Rugby announces Pacific teams to join Super Rugby

NZR chief executive Mark Robinson, NZR board member Sir Michael Jones, Moana Pasifika Steering Committee co-chair Pelenato Sakalia and Former All Black Sir Bryan George 'BeeGee' Williams announced the move at 2pm this afternoon.

Moana Pasifika is a combined Samoa and Tonga side and is likely to be based in South Auckland, while the Fiji side is set to be based in Suva.

Moana Pasifika, Fiji poised for 2022 inclusion as NZ Rugby shares broadcast revenue

NZ Rugby has been working alongside Moana Pasifika and Fiji for months to have them included in 2022, and despite a history of false dawns and disappointment it appears that final sign-off could happen in the next few months.

“I've never been more confident,” Aayden Clarke, the CEO of players’ body Pacific Rugby Players (PRP), told Stuff on Tuesday, “simply because of the appetite of New Zealand Rugby and them being genuine about wanting to make this happen, sharing resources, and their approach.

Moana Pasifika aims to ride wave of inaugural rugby match against Māori All Blacks

The composite team lost their first ever match 28-21 to the Māori but led at half-time and kept challenging the defence until the end.

After a week of building combinations while celebrating the cultures and connections of the Pacific, Moana Pasifika coach Fa'alogo Tana Umaga said the performance of the combined pre-match cultural challenge, Tau Kaukawa, was an emotional moment.

He said it marked the beginning of what he hoped the Moana Pasifika would become.

Māori All Blacks pip Moana Pasifika in rugby festival

The combined Pacific Island team led 9-7 at half time.

It was an even tussle in the first 40 minutes with both sides making a number of breaks however turnovers let them down.

The Māori were guilty of giving away penalties in their own half which Josh Ioane took advantage of with three first half penalties.

Māori fullback Kaleb Trask scored the only try of the first half when he broke through some weak tackling to crash over under the post, which he then converted.

Crusaders prop Michael Alaalatoa to captain Pasifika side

Pasifika coach Tana Umaga’s side includes 66 international test caps and it will need to lean on all of that experience to get by a strong Māori All Blacks team in Hamilton on Saturday.

First-five eighth Josh Ioane will be a key man in the Moana Pasifika cause and if his forward pack can deliver front foot ball, Ioane has multiple strike weapons outside of him.

Changing of the guard for Māori All Blacks

Lock Manaaki Selby-Rickit, midfielders Quinn Tupaea and Billy Proctor along with fullback Kaleb Trask are the newcomers named in the starting fifteen while hooker Kurt Eklund, prop Tamaiti Williams, loose forward Ethan Roots and halfback Rameka Poihipi are set to make their debuts off the bench.

There are still a few veterans around though with hooker Ash Dixon to captain the side, Liam Messam at number eight and prop Josh Hohneck who last played for the side in 2015 all included.

Tana Umaga names experienced Moana Pasifika squad

The Fiji, Samoa and Tonga combined team will play the Māori All Blacks in Hamilton next month.

Moana Pasifika is one of the preferred partners to join Super Rugby in 2022.

The inaugural squad includes nine players with Test experience and another three who have played international sevens.

One-test All Black Josh Ioane will lead the backline that also includes Super Rugby players Leicester Fainga'anuku from Tasman and the Hurricanes winger Salesi Rayasi, who has been one oif the star players for Auckland this season.