Moana Pasifika ready to inject new energy into Super Rugby

Power, flair and courage. They are three words coach Aaron Mauger hopes will become synonymous with Moana Pasifika as the new Super Rugby Pacific franchise looks to quickly make a mark on the competition.

While players were gradually revealed over the last six weeks, Monday marked another major milestone for Moana Pasifika as their first ever squad was confirmed, with former Highlanders and Crusaders outside back Tima Fainga'anuku completing the 38-man roster.

A Pacific Island franchise in Super Rugby has been a long time coming but having only been granted an unconditional licence in July, Moana Pasifika have worked around the clock to build the team from scratch.

There is, of course, still a long way to go and Mauger is relishing the opportunity to establish a long-lasting culture amongst the squad that reflects where they come from.

"I want us to be known for being us," Mauger told Stuff.

"It’s a team like no other and we don’t want to be compared to other teams. There’s so much richness in our own history and our own narrative that we can draw inspiration from. We want that to be reflected on the field as well.

"We want to be refreshing, we want to be different. We’re happy to embrace our uniqueness and get out there and play our style. That looks like power, that looks like flair, that looks like courage - guys backing themselves, having a crack and putting smiles on some faces.

"We really hope to inject some energy into this competition."

Finding a core group of experienced players was always a priority for Mauger and his staff, which is where the likes of former Wallabies duo Sekope Kepu and Christian Leali’ifano, and Manu Samoa internationals Jack Lam, Ray Niuia and Henry Taefu come in.

There is no shortage of athleticism right across the park, but in order to reach their full potential Mauger felt it was crucial they nail the key decision-making positions.