September 29, 2021
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Moana Pasifika to play home games in NZ

The Moana Pasifika franchise which will comprise of players from Tonga and Samoa will be based in New Zealand and will play out of Mt Smart Stadium until 2028.

The New Zealand Rugby (NZR)-backed side, which joins the Fijian Drua as the two new teams in Super Rugby Pacific 2022 has confirmed it will play its home games at the Penrose-based stadium in its inaugural seven seasons.

“Moana Pasifika has signed agreements with Auckland Unlimited to call the ground’s training facility and 25,000-capacity stadium ‘home’ for the new team from 2022-2028,” a statement from Moana Pasifika read.

In the statement, Moana Pasifika labelled Mt Smart Stadium as its “home away from home in the Pacific Islands”, with Former All Blacks Sir Bryan Williams outlining the franchise’s intention to play home games in Samoa and Tonga once international borders are reopened.

“As the competition evolves and subject to international borders being open, our intention is to play games in Samoa and Tonga and expand our presence across our Moana,” Williams said.

“To grow the game in the Pacific, we need to inspire our young players from an early age. They’ll see their heroes run out on the field in Moana Pasifika colours and believe that they can be just like them when they grow up.”

Williams added that Moana Pasifika intends to celebrate the inclusion of Pacific Island teams after more than a quarter of a century of Super Rugby “in style” next season.

“Come February, we’re hoping a new generation of fans will join the movement, ride the wave with us and come out in force to Mt Smart,” he said.

By Reginald Chandar

 


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