New Zealand Rugby: The Pacific Teams In Super Rugby
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There is no doubt that New Zealand dominates the global rugby community. As a matter of fact, the All Blacks is one of the most successful rugby teams in the industry. The squad has also won the Rugby World Cup in 1987, 2011, and 2015.
Rugby plays a big role in the culture of New Zealand. You can see children playing rugby along the streets or simply tossing a rugby ball while walking home from school. This is because they are taught how to play rugby at a very young age.
Believe it or not, New Zealand has a 77% winning record in test match rugby. They are also the only international men’s team that has more wins than losses. With their passion for rugby, New Zealand is also in the number one spot longer than the other teams combined since the World Rugby Rankings was introduced in 2003. This is probably one of the reasons why there are also a lot of rugby themed casino slots.
The team was also recognized as the World Rugby Team of the Year ten times. Fifteen former All Blacks were also inducted into the International Rugby Hall of Fame. The success of New Zealand Rugby continues with the announcement of Pacific teams to join Super Rugby.
Pacific Teams to Join Super Rugby
Moana Pasifika and Fijian Drua are finally granted conditional licenses to join an expanded 12-team international competition next year.
Moana Pasifika is a rugby union team with New Zealand-based players. It is also a 26-man squad captained by Michael Alaalatoa. On the other hand, Fijian Drua is a team based in Fiji that usually competes in the Australian National Rugby Championship (NRC).
NZR board member Sir Michael Jones who is also a former All Blacks legend said that the time to join a competition this big is now. ‘We go with a great amount of passion and confidence into the future. These become pathways for young aspiring Pacific men and eventually, we believe, hopefully, a women’s programme’, he stated.
Jones also said that it is not only an opportunity for the players but also for the Pacific community in Aotearoa.
Former All Black Sir Bryan George ‘BeeGee’ Williams also recalled how Fiji and Samoa were included in the top eight teams about a decade ago. However, he cleared that there wasn’t much involvement in mainstream competitions and this is probably one of the reasons why the standard has gradually dropped.
“NZR has taken a very bold step. With Super Rugby previously I was involved with coaching the Hurricanes about 20 years ago and the travel factor in Super Rugby is just debilitating, very costly as well. So a lot of thought has gone into how this competition can be structured to make sure it is not too costly and including the Pacific islands. It’s great. Better now than never,” Williams said.
Moana Pasifika Steering Committee co-chair Pelenato Sakalia also claimed that it has been a tough journey of disagreements and challenges to come up with this decision. He cleared that there are a lot of talented Pasifika players but there was a need to harness their people and culture to attract the right coach and manager.
“The empowerment model is something that Moana Pasifika and Fiji will embrace. We have the people, we’ve got the numbers and more importantly, we’ve got the diverse skill sets that you need to make this a reality,” Sakalia stated.
Nevertheless, both teams are working hard to show a great game in Super Rugby. So, you better set the casino slots aside for now and watch how they’ll score towards victory.