Aaron Mauger. (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)
Former All Blacks centre Aaron Mauger was appointed head coach of Super Rugby newcomers Moana Pasifika on Thursday as the team prepare for their debut season next year.
Mauger, who played 45 Tests for New Zealand, has previously coached the Highlanders in Super Rugby and Leicester Tigers in the English Premiership.
The 40-year-old said he was excited at the prospect of working with Auckland-based Moana Pasifika, which has been set up to give a professional pathway for players from island nations such as Samoa and Tonga.
“This is an opportunity to be part of something very special,” said Mauger, who is of Samoan, Cook Islands and Tahitian descent.
“My goal is to give players the platform they have been crying out for, to play our style of rugby, to demonstrate that their heritage can be celebrated openly and their skills and talent are sought after.”
The revamped Super Rugby competition next year includes the Pasifika team, fellow rookies Fijian Drua, as well as five sides apiece from Australia and New Zealand.
It is scheduled to kick off on 18 February.
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