|Union||New Zealand Rugby Union|
Moana Pasifika is a rugby union team made up of players who identify with Pacific island nations, including Fiji, Samoa and Tonga, organised by the New Zealand Rugby Union. They are based in South Auckland, New Zealand. The team was originally created for a one off match at the end of the New Zealand 2020 rugby union season against the Māori All Blacks, with the future intention of trying to join the Super Rugby competition.
On 24 November 2020, Moana Pasifika coach Tana Umaga named a 26-man squad for the match against the Māori All Blacks on 5 December 2020. The team was made up of New Zealand-based players who were international or sevens capped by a Pacific team or identified with a Pacific region. On 5 December 2020, the team played their first match, against the Māori All Blacks at Waikato Stadium. Captained by Sydney born Samoan international Michael Alaalatoa the side lost to the Māori 28–21.
Following the conclusion of the 2020 Super Rugby season, the licences for the South African Super Rugby sides; the Bulls, the Lions, the Sharks and the Stormers, the Argentine Jaguares and the Japanese Sunwolves all expired. The 2021 Super Rugby season, still effected by the COVID-19 pandemic, was played in two regionalised tournaments featuring the five New Zealand Super Rugby sides and the four Australian Super Rugby sides, plus the Western Force who had returned to the tournament having lost their licence at the end of the 2017 Super Rugby season. However, from 2022 onwards a new 12-team tournament had been mooted, and on 13 November 2020, the New Zealand Rugby Union announced Moana Pasifika, along with the Fijian Drua as its preferred partners to join the competition. Further steps were made in March 2021, when the New Zealand Rugby Union agreed to a sharing of broadcast revenue with both Moana Pasifika and the Fijian Drua, and this was followed later in the same month by World Rugby announcing financial, high performance and administrative support for both potential new sides, in order to boost the performances of Pacific Islands at international level, while also being able to stay local instead of heading overseas.
On 24 November 2020, Tana Umaga named a 26-man squad for the match against the Māori All Blacks on 5 December 2020. Bold indicates that the player has a test cap. Italics indicates that the player has played international rugby sevens.
The staff was made up of coaches employed by the NZRU.
|Role||Name||Country of heritage|
|Head Coach||Tana Umaga||Samoa|
|Assistant Coach||Aaron Mauger||Cook Islands / Samoa|
|Assistant Coach||Tom Coventry||Samoa|
|Assistant Coach||Ben Afeaki||Tonga|
|Māori All Blacks||21||28||Lost||2020-12-05||Waikato Stadium||Hamilton||Friendly|
2020 Moana Pasifika squad for match vs. Māori All Blacks The squad for the match vs. Māori All Blacks was:
- (c) Denotes team captain, Bold denotes player is internationally capped.
- "Next steps in Pacific Island professional teams journey confirmed by NZ Rugby" (Press release). All Blacks. 14 April 2021. Retrieved 14 April 2021.
- "Tana Umaga names experienced Moana Pasifika squad". rnz.co.nz. Retrieved 2020-12-03.
- "Moana Pasifika names side to face Māori All Blacks". allblacks.com. Retrieved 2020-12-03.
- "Reports: Super Rugby set for 12 from 2022". SA Rugby Magazine. 4 November 2020. Retrieved 11 November 2020.
- "New Zealand Rugby confirms Fiji Rugby & Moana Pasifika as preferred partners". New Zealand Rugby. 13 November 2020. Retrieved 13 November 2020.
- "Super Rugby: Moana Pasifika, Fiji poised for 2022 inclusion as NZ Rugby shares broadcast revenue". Stuff.co.nz. 9 March 2021. Retrieved 9 March 2021.
- "World Rugby to support Pacific Islands Super Rugby ambitions". World Rugby. 24 March 2021. Retrieved 24 March 2021.
- "Next steps in Pacific Island professional teams journey confirmed by NZ Rugby". All Blacks. 14 April 2021. Retrieved 14 April 2021.