Fiji-born Timoci Tavatavanawai has been named in the Moana Pacifika side to the Super Rugby Pacific 2022 season.
The former Queen Victoria School winger who currently plays for Tasman Mako is the first Fijian player to be named in the side.
Tavatavanawai is also a former Fiji under-20 player and was part of the wider Crusaders and Highlanders squad this year.
Like the Fijian Drua, Moana Pasifika is expected to complete signing players for the 2022 Super Rugby Pacific season before the end of next month.
In an exclusive interview with FBC Sports, Moana Pasifika Head Coach Aaron Mauger says they’re trying to settle in like the Drua.
Samoan, Tongan and Cook Islanders have already signed up – but no Pacific team could be complete without some Fijians in the mix according to Mauger.
Some big signings have been confirmed for Moana Pasifika including former Wallabies Christian Lealifano and Sekope Kepu, but Mauger says they’ll some Fijian flavor also.
“We’ve offered all contracts to 38 players so we probably got the last 7 or 8 to confirm and finalize deals, I’m really proud of our team for the position we’re in and it’s great to sign Christian and there’s plenty more to come including a little bit of Fijian flavor in there as well”
Moana Pasifika can sign up to eight players who are not eligible for Tonga. Samoa, the Cook Islands or Fiji.
The new franchise was supposed to assemble before Christmas but that’s unlikely due to the health crisis in Auckland, New Zealand.