Manusina XV to face Tonga Womens A – Curtain Raiser on 29 April

Manusina v Tonga scrum at the 2022 Oceania Rugby Women’s Championship. Photo: Toreka Telea.

Moana Pasifika is proud to announce the curtain raiser between Manusina XV and Tonga Womens A which will play before Moana Pasifika’s home game against the Melbourne Rebels in the Culture themed Round 10 of the Super Rugby Pacific competition. 

The curtain raiser kicks off at 2.05pm on Saturday 29 April and is the first time the two women’s teams will play each other in 2023. The invitational game will be held at Mt Smart Stadium and will be used by both sides for selection of their final teams to play in the 2023 Oceania Rugby Womens Championship held in May. 

Moana Pasifika CEO Pelenato Sakalia says, “We’re excited to host the Manusina XV and Tonga Womens A teams and have an exciting game day planned for fans who head along to the double-header. We can’t wait to see these two rival sides take to the field. Their last encounter in 2022 went down to the wire with Samoa sealing a victory against Tonga 25-17 in the final minute with a late try.” 

Sakalia added, “Moana Pasifika is honoured to host the two women’s rugby teams as part of our double-header for the Culture Round where they will showcase once again their skills and gives special thanks to Lakapi Samoa and Tonga Rugby Union for making this possible.” 

“The Super Rugby Pacific competition is a great platform that celebrates the diversity and cultures of the Pacific region, and this double-header will be another way to bring together our communities and celebrate our shared passion for both men and women’s rugby.”The majority of the Tonga Womens A side will travel from the Kingdom of Tonga to Auckland this weekend. The Manusina XV will land soon after on Tuesday, 25 April, incorporating players from both Samoa and New Zealand.

#23 Vii Fanene with ball at Manusina v Tonga at the 2022 Oceania Rugby Women’s Championship. Photo: Toreka Telea.

Tonga Rugby Union CEO Peter Harding says, “In just the last two years there has been a massive resurgence of women’s rugby in Tonga and we have seen phenomenal growth locally. The majority of players for the Mt Smart game will travel from Tonga and this is a reflection of how popular rugby has become with women. We have more teams than ever before in Tonga and a pipeline of talented players.” The Tonga Rugby Union currently has 24 women’s teams up from 4 teams 2 years ago, 14 under 18s and 10 Open Womens.

Lakapi Samoa’s General Manager High Performance Seumanu Douglas Ngau Chun says, “This game has great importance in our build up to the Oceania Rugby Women’s Championship and player selection in May. The performance at the Oceania competition will lead to qualification for the World XV (WXV) 2023 in October and determine rankings for pool allocation. Players will be putting their best performance out on the field at Mt Smart Stadium, selectors will have a keen eye on the game looking at both established and debut player’s performances.”

Moana Pasifika, the Manusina XV and Tonga Womens A are looking forward to an entertaining double-header of rugby and encourages everyone to come out and support their team.

Fans are encouraged to purchase their tickets early to head along to this family-friendly Saturday afternoon of rugby at Mt Smart Stadium and bring their home nation flags to support the two sides. 

Saturday 29 April

Mt Smart Stadium

Manusina XV v Tonga Womens A 

2.05pm Kick Off

Moana Pasifika v Melbourne Rebels

4.35pm Kick Off

Tickets for the double-header are available through Flicket at Adult tickets from $20 and kids $8.

Sky Sport will broadcast the live game.

#MoanaPasifika #SamoaRugby #TongaRugby #WomeninRugby

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