Aaron Mauger, who is of Cook Islands descent, has been confirmed as Moana Pasifika’s inaugural head coach. 21092936
Aaron Mauger, who is of Cook Islands descent, pays tribute to his Pasifika heritage and families after he was confirmed as Moana Pasifika’s inaugural head coach.
Pacific first reported in July that the former All Black would take charge of
the Super Rugby newcomers, with Filo Tiatia as his assistant coach.
of Samoan, Tahitian and Cook Islands descent, has inked a three-year deal with
the new franchise, who will play their home matches at Mount Smart Stadium
45-Test All Black was a part of the Moana Pasifika coaching team for their
first ever match against the Māori All Blacks in November.
spent three seasons in charge of the Highlanders but his contract was not
renewed at the end of last season, and has previous coaching experience with
the Crusaders, Samoa (as assistant coach) and Leicester Tigers (as head coach).
said his appointment was a real privilege both as a rugby coach and as a
have always been grounded by my heritage, but in recent years I have really
delved deep into my lineage and I am really enjoying the journey of discovery,”
an honour to work alongside the likes of Sir Bryan Williams and Sir Michael
Jones to bring the Moana vision to life. These men are absolute legends who
have carved the path for all Pasifika sportsmen and women over the last 50
said it was also special to be representing his own Pasifika heritage and
know they will all be proud as they reflect on the amazing legacy left by my
late Nana Timeteri Roomataaroa Bachop and the way of being that she inspired in
all of us,” he said.
is an opportunity to be part of something very special, and my goal is to give
players the platform they have been crying out for, to play our style of rugby,
and to demonstrate that their heritage can be celebrated openly, and that their
skills and talent is sought after.
have been working hard already on building our team, and I am excited about the
prospect of announcing our coaching team and first Super Rugby squad, very
Pasifika Trust chair Savae Sir Michael Jones welcomed Mauger’s appointment as
an important milestone in Moana Pasifika’s story.
has had an outstanding playing career and coached at Super Rugby level. He
knows the grit and guts it takes to succeed which is just what we need to hit
the ground running come competition time,” he said.
know all eyes will be on us and how we perform as a team. We are in good hands
and we're excited for the journey ahead.”
been a week of announcements for Moana Pasifika, which confirmed Auckland’s
Mount Smart Stadium would be its home ground until 2028.
Sport was also announced as the team’s apparel supplier.
All Blacks and Wallabies skills coach Mick Byrne was announced as the Fijian
Drua’s inaugural head coach on Friday.