Paea set to debut for Moana Pasifika

Moana Pasifika enters Round 5 of DHL Super Rugby Pacific with a determined side named to face the ACT Brumbies on Friday at 9:35pm (NZT).

A Super Rugby Pacific debut off the bench is on the cards for ‘Ikale Tahi International Semisi Paea.

The exciting back-rower previously played in Major League Rugby for the New England Free Jacks and is now set to make his mark on this side of the world. 

Moana Pasifika Scrum Coach Pauliasi Manu said: “Semisi has worked hard and earned his spot. He had a good preseason and really presented himself. He’s got the physicality and is really strong over the ball,” said Manu.

Christian Lealiifano will return to his old stomping ground where he played 12 seasons amassing 150 Super Rugby matches. 

The inspirational leader gets the start at Fly-half for the second consecutive week, following a dominant performance in the team’s win over the Force in Perth.

D’Angelo Leuila and Pepesana Patafilo will combine for the midfield partnership. Hooker Samiuela Moli and Prop Sione Mafileo are also named in the starting lineup.

Michael Curry and Fine Inisi both get their first run of 2024, meanwhile Tomasi Maka is also named in the reserves.

This will be Moana Pasifika’s third and final match on Australian soil this season. After consecutive weeks on the road they will return home for a special Easter Weekend match against the Blues at Eden Park. 

Unavailable due to injury: Alamanda Motuga, Anzelo Tuitavuki, Henry Taefu, James Lay, Jonathan Taumateine, Julian Savea, Lalomilo Lalomilo, Neria Fomai, Ofa Tauatevalu, Samuel Slade, Solomone Funaki, Tom Savage.


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