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BUILDING BLOCKS

4 November 2021
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Aaron Mauger has gone from coaching the John McGlashan College First XV to Moana Pasifika this year.

Liam Napier tries to piece together the early pieces of the Moana Pasifika puzzle with the help of the new head coach (pages 26-28).

Moana Pasifika could hardly have confronted more challenges in attempting to get a start-up Super Rugby franchise off the ground. 

From lack of time to Covid-19; assembling a fresh management team, competitive squad and home base, there are no shortage of hurdles to clear as their inaugural 2022 season fast approaches. 

Given that backdrop, you might expect to find a sense of trepidation engulfing those working feverishly behind the scenes.  

When Rugby News catches up with foundation coach Aaron Mauger, who has signed on for three years, he instead projects anticipation and pride about the project before him.  

Mauger, the former Highlanders and Leicester head coach, Crusaders and Samoan assistant whose Nana hailed from Rarotonga via Tahiti, helped guide Moana Pasifika in their maiden match against New Zealand Māori last year. He never saw himself continuing in the role, though. Not until meeting Sir Michael Jones, Sir Bryan Williams and Kevin Senio at Eden Park’s NZ Barbarians club lounge in June.  

Continue this story in our November issue.

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