Moana Pasifika confirms STA partnership for the 2023 DHL Super Rugby Pacific


Moana Pasifika is proud to announce the renewal of its partnership with the Samoa Tourism Authority for the 2023 DHL Super Rugby Pacific Season.

The ‘Beautiful Samoa’ logo will be retained on the back of the team’s playing jersey, as well as at Moana Pasifika home matches at Mt Smart Stadium, and on the club’s website and social media platforms.

As the Official Tourism Partner for 2023, Samoa Tourism Authority will be rolling out the welcome mat in April for Moana Pasifika and their fans for a historic occasion.  

Friday 14 April 2023 will mark the first time the club will play a game on Pacific soil.  

Apia Park will host the Round 8 clash between Moana Pasifika and the Queensland Reds at a family-friendly time of 5:05 pm.

Chief Executive Officer Pelenato Sakalia said the partnership is one that is dearly valued and makes absolute sense. “Moana Pasifika exists for the betterment of our Pasifika people globally. This partnership puts the beautiful island nation of Samoa front and centre of one of the world’s most premier rugby competitions.”

“It is wonderful to be able to use our platform to promote Samoa and with the borders open again, we encourage everyone from around the globe to visit Samoa and enjoy all it has to offer. I am especially looking forward to taking our match against the Queensland Reds to the sandy white shores of Samoa and inspiring the local talent,” says Sakalia.

When the partnership was first announced in 2022, there was shared ambition between the Moana Pasifika Board and Samoa Tourism Authority to bring a game to the Pacific. Now that the dream has come to fruition, both parties hope to see an influx of visitors for the historic match.

Only three-and-a-half hours from Auckland, Samoa is renowned for its natural beauty and genuine hospitality, boasting a 100-year history of rugby after it was first introduced in 1920. 

“Samoa is an incredibly proud rugby nation as well as an enchanting holiday destination that sets the perfect backdrop for our historic game in Apia. We would love to see our loyal fans join us in April for an incredible experience,” says Pelenato Sakalia.

New Zealand Representative for Samoa Tourism Authority Sonny Rivers said he looks forward to showcasing Beautiful Samoa after the nation reopened their borders six months ago.

“The pandemic had a huge impact on Samoa’s travel and tourism industry with forced border closures. As a country, we are eager to welcome back travelers to enjoy our beautiful home and help aid in the Island’s economic recovery.”

“It’s wonderful for us to be involved again with Moana Pasifika, particularly in a competition with large international interest in Australasia and beyond. We were incredibly proud of their efforts during their first season of Super Rugby and can’t wait to see what they bring to the field in 2023,” says Rivers.

Visitors from New Zealand and Australia made up 72 percent of spend in the economy prior to the pandemic. Samoa Tourism Authority are hoping to see visitor numbers increase to what they were in 2020.

“Samoa Tourism has been working hard behind the scenes with local operators and national bodies to ensure the Pacific nation is ready for a new year and influx of travelers in the coming months. Moana Pasifika’s match here in Apia is very exciting for the locals as well as any tourists on the island. We can’t wait to be in the stands supporting.”