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Moana Pasifika pluck participant from Samoa membership rugby

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Moana Pasifika has named a squad with 38 of their 39 gamers experiencing Tremendous Rugby throughout their inaugural yr within the competitors.

Levi Aumua leads Moana Pasifika haka
Picture: PHOTOSPORT

The squad boasts 26 gamers with worldwide rugby expertise for Pacific Island powerhouses Manu Samoa and ‘Ikale Tahi. The addition of Wallaby veterans Sekope Kepu and Christian Leali’ifano increase the worldwide participant tally to twenty-eight.

Headlining the 5 new signings within the 2023 squad is Samoa-based unfastened ahead, Miracle Fai’ilagi. The 23-year previous was recognized by Head Coach Aaron Mauger and Forwards Coach Leota Filo Tiatia on the World Rugby Pacific Mix held in Suva, Fiji.

The mix serves as a pathway to representing the Pacific Island nationwide groups and offers publicity to a high-performance program. The highest athletes from Samoa, Tonga & Fiji assembled in September for an intensive coaching week to emulate knowledgeable rugby setting.

Moana Pasifika’s teaching employees attended the mix with the intention of rewarding two gamers with coaching contracts for the 2023 preseason. Nonetheless, Fai’ilagi impressed along with his bodily prowess, sport intelligence and professionalism which noticed him rewarded with a full-time contract.

Aaron Mauger is extremely enthusiastic about bringing the Vailele native right into a Tremendous Rugby setting. “Miracle is a pure chief who exudes humility, respect and tautua (service). He has represented Samoa in Rugby Sevens so has a strong health basis, a excessive work price and is hard-nosed. He is not afraid to place his head in to darkish locations and has a really excessive ceiling,” says Mauger.

“There was numerous untapped expertise on the mix and Miracle was one among a number of gamers that caught our eye. The way in which these younger males responded to being in knowledgeable setting for the primary time was excellent and we have now rewarded one other 5 gamers with preseason coaching contracts from the mix.”

4 additional gamers have earned themselves their first Tremendous Rugby contracts after impressing as alternative gamers for Moana Pasifika in 2022.

Otago’s Abraham Pole joined Moana Pasifika as a everlasting harm alternative in 2022 and performed in 9 matches, scoring 4 tries. He solidified his beginning spot on the loosehead facet of the scrum and is a well-deserving recipient of a full-time Tremendous Rugby Pacific contract.

One other welcomed addition to the squad is uncompromising Manu Samoa first 5 eighth D’Angelo Leuila. The 25-year previous is a flexible athlete who can even play midfield and fullback. Head Coach Aaron Mauger was impressed along with his NPC kind for Waikato this yr.

Tasman Mako lock Mahonri Ngakuru and North Harbor unfastened ahead Michael Curry are additionally elevated to full-time contracts for the 2023 Tremendous Rugby Pacific season.

Moana Pasifika start their 2023 Tremendous Rugby Pacific Marketing campaign on Saturday twenty fifth February towards the Fijian Drua in a match that has been dubbed the Battle of the Pacific. Aaron Mauger is worked up concerning the prospect of seeing the very best of the Pacific within the subject.

“It is a dream to play the Drua in our first sport and at residence. It will likely be a celebration of all issues Pasifika and a beautiful option to begin the competitors.”

Mauger can be eyeing the sport in Apia on April 14th towards the Queensland Reds as a special day.

“Within the off season we have now made a aware effort to strengthen our connection to the Pacific Islands by way of establishing tangible pathways. To attach, serve and encourage our individuals within the islands is on the forefront of all the pieces we do. It is an thrilling alternative for everybody concerned and hopefully the primary of many journeys to the Pacific.”

Moana Pasifika Tremendous Rugby Pacific 2023 Squad

(Identify, Moana Pasifika caps, village and/or iwi).

Forwards

Abraham Pole** (9) – Lapaha, Fua’amotu (Tongatapu) Funga Fonua (‘Eua) & Ha’apai

Alamanda Motuga (8) – Sataoa & Sa’anapu (Samoa)

Alex McRobbie (11) – Avatele (Niue) & Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Whātua (Aotearoa)

Chris Apoua (5) – Salamumu & Fasito’outa (Samoa)

Ezekiel Lindenmuth (13) – Manono, Vaimoso & Moto’otua (Samoa)

Isi Tu’ungafasi* – Kolofo’ou & Kanokupolu (Tongatapu) (Tonga)

Jack Lam (6) – Gataivai & Malie (Samoa)

Joe ‘Apikotoa (11) – Fasi-moe-afi (Tongatapu) (Tonga).

Lotu Inisi (1) – Longoteme (Tongatapu) & Fangale’ounga (Ha’apai) (Tonga) & Falelatai (Samoa)

Luteru Tolai (8) – Gagaifo Lefaga (Samoa) & Titikaveka, Rarotonga & Aitutaki (Cook dinner Islands)

Mahonri Ngakuru** (5) – Ngāpuhi

Michael Curry (8)** – Kaufusi, Fa’atoia & Vaoala (Samoa)

Mike McKee (2) – Titikaveka, Rarotonga (Cook dinner Islands)

Miracle Fai’ilagi* – Vailele & Uafato (Samoa)

Penitoa Finau (4) – Leimatu’a, Falevai (Vava’u) Kanokupolu & Kolovai (Tongatapu) (Tonga)

Ray Niuia (8) – Saipipi & Sa’anapu (Samoa)

Samiuela Moli (11) – Te’ekiu (Tongatapu) & Leimatu’a (Vava’u) (Tonga)

Samuel Slade (9) – Sapunaoa, Vailoa & Palauli (Samoa)

Sekope Kepu (10) – Leimatu’a (Vava’u) & Niuafo’ou (Tonga)

Sione Tu’ipulotu (10) – Kolofo’ou, Talafo’ou, Longolongo (Tongatapu) O’ua (Ha’apai) (Tonga)

Solomon Funaki (10) – Fanga-‘o-Pilolevu (Tongatapu) & Pangai (Ha’apai) (Tonga)

Taukiha’amea Koloamatangi (6) – Pea & Ha’avakatolo (Tongatapu) (Tonga)

Backs

Anzelo Tuitavuki (3) – Angaha (‘Eua) Kolomotu’a, Falaleu (Vava’u) & Niuafo’ou (Tongatapu) (Tonga)

Christian Leali’ifano (11) – Magiagi, Letogo & Le’auva’a (Samoa)

D’Angelo Leuila (1)** – Gataivai & Fagali’i (Samoa) & Atahu (Tokelau)

Danny Toala (9) – Faleasi’u & Lotofaga (Samoa)

Ereatara Enari – Nofoali’i & Vaiala (Samoa) & Rongowhakaata & Te Aitanga A Māhaka (Aotearoa)

Positive Inisi (9) – Longoteme (Tongatapu) & Fangale’ounga (Ha’apai) (Tonga) & Falelatai (Samoa)

Henry Taefu (8) – Samatau & Falelatai (Samoa)

Jonathan Taumateine ​​(10) – Nofoali’i & Satapuala (Samoa)

Levi Aumua (9) – Afega & Safa’atoa Lefaga (Samoa) & Tailevu (Fiji)

Lincoln McClutchie (12) – Ngati Porou (Aotearoa)

Lolagi Visinia (4) – Afega & Safa’atoa Lefaga (Samoa)

Manu Paea (4) – Pelehake, Maufanga (Tongatapu) & Lotofoa (Ha’apai) (Tonga)

Neria Foma’i (5) – Lepuia’i Manono Tai & Magiagi (Samoa)

Tima Fainga’anuku (9) – Tongoleleka (Ha’apai), Tufuvai (‘Eua), Taunga (Vava’u) & Niuatoputapu (Tonga)

Timoci Tavatavanawai (8) – Naikawaga, Namara & Tailevu (Fiji)

Tomasi Alosio (3) – Levi Saleimoa & Falefa (Samoa)

William Havili (11) – Sopu Kolomatu’a (Tonga)

* denotes uncapped participant

** denotes first Tremendous Rugby Contract

The next gamers might be becoming a member of Moana Pasifika from the World Rugby Pacific Mix on preseason coaching contracts:

Joe Perez (Samoa)

Faletoi Peni (Samoa)

Semisi Paea (Tonga)

Frank Mafi (Tonga)

Alosio Moa (Tonga)

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