Coach Fa’alogo Tana Umaga has named the first ever Moana Pasifika squad and it has plenty of experience.

The Fiji, Samoa and Tonga combined team will play the Māori All Blacks in Hamilton next month.

Moana Pasifika is one of the preferred partners to join Super Rugby in 2022.

The inaugural squad includes nine players with Test experience and another three who have played international sevens.

One-test All Black Josh Ioane will lead the backline that also includes Super Rugby players Leicester Fainga’anuku from Tasman and the Hurricanes winger Salesi Rayasi, who has been one oif the star players for Auckland this season.

Umaga has also included a number of familiar names in the forward pack including Daniel Leinert-Brown, Sione Mafielo, Leni Apisai, Nasi Manu and Michael Alaalatoa.

Umaga congratulated the players selected for the first ever Moana Pasifika side.

“We’re really proud of the squad we have selected – it’s a great side. We were really spoilt for choice with selections, and as we have always known, players were really drawn to be part of this special team. We believe we have selected a squad that represents a great mix of players who identify with the great nations of Fiji, Samoa and Tonga.

“Many of the players are contracted Super Rugby players and all but one have proudly represented their provinces in Mitre 10 Cup in 2020.

SOURCE – RADIO NZ

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