Auckland to host Pasifika rugby double-header at Eden Park in August 2019
In a sporting coup for Auckland, the best rugby players from the Pasifika will descend on the iconic Eden Park, Saturday August 31 for a blockbuster international rugby doubleheader.
Manu Samoa battles New Zealand Heartland XV and Ikale Tahi takes on Fiji Airways Flying Fijians in the Pasifika Challenge II – The Road to Japan.
Event organisers, Left Field Live, are looking forward to a vibrant and loud atmosphere in an event that will celebrate the best of all things Pasifika.
The double-header will also serve as an important additional fixture ahead of Japan and another great opportunity for supporters to come out and support their team.
“We are delighted to support this fixture as a great display of Pasifika rugby,” NZR Chief Rugby Officer Nigel Cass said.
New Zealand prides itself in having close ties with our Pacific Island neighbours, and this match is a great way to celebrate rugby in the Pacific and in our Heartland provinces.
New Zealand Heartland XV will play first against Manu Samoa in what promises to be a fast-paced and physical match.
Recently appointed Manu Samoa Head Coach, Steve Jackson, will be looking to the match as an opportunity to build on performances from the Pacific Nation’s Cup.
“This is another great opportunity for our squad to get together and finalise preparations for Japan,” he said.
“We are a very close group and any opportunity to come together to work on both on-field executions as well as the equally important off-field culture is something we all jump at.”
Sir Michael Jones speaks at Pasifika Challenge 2019 press conference at Eden Park
John McKee, Flying Fijians Head Coach said: “This match against Tonga at Eden Park is very important for the Flying Fijians in our build up towards Japan. We take some self-belief from our victory over France in Paris in November but certainly have not forgotten Tonga’s win over us in Lautoka in June 2018. August 31 will be a great day for Pacific Rugby and vitally important for us as our last match before Japan.”
Nick Sautner, Eden Park Chief Executive Officer said: “New Zealand’s national stadium is the place to be this August and we’re pleased to offer our community and sports lovers another great reason to visit Eden Park.
Given Tāmaki Makaurau’s large Pasifika population, we’re looking forward to welcoming thousands of fans through the gates for an electric display of rugby ahead of Japan.
Pasifika Challenge II – The Road To Japan
2pm: New Zealand Heartland XV vs. Manu Samoa
4:30pm: Ikale Tahi vs. Fiji Airways Flying Fijians
WHEN: Saturday August 31, 2019
WHERE: Eden Park, Auckland
COST: Starting from $25
Tickets and more information available HERE