Manu Samoa rugby team aims to reconnect with NZ Samoans

Samoa Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Lupesoliai Malielegaoi launching the Pasifika Challenge at Fale o Samoa this morning.
Alan Apted

Samoa Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Lupesoliai Malielegaoi launching the Pasifika Challenge at Fale o Samoa this morning.

South Auckland's Samoan community - standby.

The Manu Samoa rugby team is coming to Mangere to mix, mingle and get your support ahead of internationals against the All Blacks, Wales, Tonga and Fiji.

The countdown to what the Samoa Rugby Union is calling the Pacifica Challenge was launched at Fale o Samoa in Mangere by Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Lupesoliai Malielegaoi and Manu Samoa coach, former All Black, Alama Ieremeia.

The Prime Minister says getting reacquainted with Auckland's Samoa community is an important mission for the team.

"It is a great opportunity for the Samoa Rugby Union and our Manu Samoa team to rebuild our connections and support from our Samoan community in New Zealand."

Ieremeia says 2017 is a critical year for Samoan rugby as it attempts to qualify for the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

"Playing the best team in the world in the biggest Polynesian city in the world is a dream come true for us. We'd like to thank the New Zealand Rugby Union for the opportunity."

Ieremia confirmed that a parade will be held in Mangere on June 10.

Further details of what Manu Samoa has planned will be announced on the union's Facebook page in the coming day.

About 60 people attended the launch including members of the Manu Samoa Old Boys' Association.

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