Moana Pasifika name team for Hurricanes clash

Moana Pasifika is making a push for the playoffs as they prepare to face a tough Hurricanes side this Friday.

As we approach the final weeks of the regular season, Moana Pasifika is vying for their first ever top 8 spot. 

A spot that is highly contested with the competition being so close, meaning just one bonus point win currently separates last place from 8th. 

Moana Pasifika is aware of the importance of this week’s match and the challenge the 2nd seeded Hurricanes will pose. 

Hurricanes legend and Moana Pasifika Head Coach Fa’alogo Tana Umaga said: “It’s a big task going down to Wellington and playing them at home. After a close loss to the Blues they’ll be trying to get their season back on track.”

“We’re still in the race and we’re looking at ourselves and how we can be better.”

The game will be a homecoming for starting centre Julian Savea who plays against his former team in the regular season for the first time. 

The Bus played 153 games for the Hurricanes from 2011 – 2023. Going back to a place with fans who were accustomed to him lighting up the field every week. 

There are some changes to this week’s team with Samiuela Moli getting the start at hooker and Sione Mafileo at prop. 

Tom Savage is back in the starting lineup at lock, same with Jacob Norris who will play at blindside flanker. 

Sione Havili Talitui returns to Captaincy duties this week as openside flanker.

In the backline Jonathan Taumateine earns his first start at halfback for 2024, returning to the field after a knock against the Highlanders in Round 11. 

William Havili shifts back to fly half, Henry Taefu pairs up with Savea in the midfield and Fine Inisi is on the right wing. 

North Harbour tighthead prop Tevita Langi has the potential to make his Moana Pasifika debut off the bench. Joining him on the reserves is Sama Malolo, Sekope Kepu, Ola Tauelangi, Alamanda Motuga, Aisea Halo, Christian Lealiifano and Anzelo Tuitavuki. 

Unavailable due to injury: James Lay, Lalomilo Lalomilo, Michael Curry, Miracle Faiilagi, Ofa Tauatevalu, Salesi Tuifua, Samuel Slade, Sateki Latu, Semisi Paea, Solomone Funaki.   


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