Moana Pasifika have bolstered their forward pack.

Moana Pasifika have bolstered their forward pack with Counties Manukau Steelers’ trio Sam Slade, Ezekiel Lindenmuth and Alex McRobbie. Slade made his Manu Samoa test match debut against the ‘Ikale Tahi in July this year. The 24-year old was impressive throughout his first campaign and was touted as being integral to securing World Cup qualification for Samoa. Standing at 193cm, Slade can play both lock and flanker and is a dynamic inclusion in to the Moana Pasifika squad. In 2017, he made his provincial rugby debut for Auckland and put his hand up for selection in to the New Zealand Under 20 side that secured the Junior Rugby World Cup. After notching up six games for Auckland, Slade shifted south the following year, playing eight games for Manawatu. In 2019, Slade made the permanent shift to Counties Manukau where he has been a regular starter for the Steelers over the past three season.   

Ezekiel Lindenmuth made the move to New Zealand to attend Mount Albert Grammar School, where he excelled playing for the first xv with fellow Moana Pasifika signing Samuel Slade. The Samoan-born prop played for the Samoa Under 20 team in 2016 that won the World Rugby Junior Under 20 Trophy, earning promotion in to the Junior World Cup for 2017. However, Lindenmuth wore the Black Jersey of the New Zealand Under 20 side the following year. Most comfortable at loosehead prop, Lindenmuth played five games across two season for Auckland between 2018 to 2019 and earned selection in to the Blues squad. After two seasons with the Blues, Lindenmuth linked up with the Counties Manukau Steelers in 2020 and played for the Chiefs in 2021. Prior to the cancellation of the provincial rugby season for Auckland-based sides, Lindenmuth and Moana Pasifika prop, Sekope Kepu, formed a formidable proping duo and will look to continue their connections throughout Super Rugby Pacific 2022.  

Alex McRobbie played his first provincial rugby game this year for the Counties Manukau Steelers in round two against North Harbour. A proud Bombay man, McRobbie returned to his home province, after a season in Japan, to realise his first class rugby dream through his 2018 St Kentigern College 1st XV Coach and Current Steelers Head Coach, Tai Lavea. His debut match was to be his first and only game in the red, white and black, after their season came to a premature end. The 21-year old lock stands at 197cm and is strong in the air at set piece. McRobbie, who has ties to Avasele in Niue, is an exciting, young talent with an impressive work-ethic. All three men bring valuable characterists both on and off the rugby field and will strengthen the Moana Pasifika forward pack for 2022. 

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