Lakapi Samoa announced today that Manu Samoa will be playing the Maori All Blacks in two games in June and July as part of the Pacific in Union Test Series.
These two test matches will act as warm up events for Manu Samoa's RWC2023 qualifiying games against Tonga in July in Auckland and Hamilton.
The full June / July Manu Samoa Test Series fixtures are:
- 26 June Manu Samoa v Maori All Blacks – Sky Stadium, Wellington
- 3 July Manu Samoa v Maori All Blacks – Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland
- 10 July Manu Samoa v Tonga – Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland
- 17 July Manu Samoa v Tonga – FMG Stadium, Hamilton
Lakapi Samoa Chief Executive Faleomavaega Vincent Fepuleai says “We are all excited to named our Manu Samoa since 2019, like Tonga, we hope to get another chance to qualify for the RWC2023 in France. The Covid-19 Pandemic has huge impact on international rugby and we acknowledged the continuous support from New Zealand Rugby for allowing us this opportunity to carry out fixtures against the Maori All Blacks to warm up for our RWC Qualifier against Tonga.”
Head Coach Vaovasamanaia Seilala Mapusua says “This is a very important initial campaign for us playing the qualifier against Tonga and also privileged to play the Maori All Blacks as lead up to the qualifier. This will be my first campaign (as coach) and considering the impacts of Covid-19 it wasn’t an easy task selecting the Manu. However, I am very confident we have the best players to represent the jersey and earn us a spot for the RWC2023.”
Vaovasamanaia has selected his team from across the world with players selected from clubs in Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Samoa.
Match day will be managed by Westview Events for each game in the June / July 2021 Test Series, a first for both organisations.
Jason Hill, Director Westview Events added “Westview Events is humbled to be partnering with Lakapi Rugby to promote two key matches as part of this historic tour of New Zealand - Samoa v Maori All Blacks at Sky Stadium, Saturday 26 June and Samoa v Tonga at Mount Smart Stadium, Saturday 10 July. We look forward to working with our new Samoan friends, the Maori All Blacks, Tonga and the entire New Zealand rugby community to deliver the best events we can.”
Tickets will be on sale in early June with expressions of interest available on Friday 28th May 2021 through Ticketek.
Read the full press release here.