Moana Pasifika has secured Southland Head Coach Dale MacLeod, and specialist prop Pauliasi Manu to their 2022 Super Rugby Pacific coaching team.

Dale MacLeod, who takes on responsibility for Moana’s Defence strategy, coached the Southland Stags in 2020 and 2021, has also coached the Blues A, and Highlanders Bravehearts teams. Pauliasi Manu, 34, made his debut in 2011 for the Blues and played five games before shifting to the Chiefs in 2013 where he played 49 games, before returning to the Blues in 2017. Manu also played for the Sunwolves attaining a total 91 caps in Super Rugby. He finished his playing career in Japan with the Hino Red Dolphins before retiring in 2019 to focus on family and coaching. He joins Moana Pasifika as Scrum Coach.

Moana Pasifika’s Rugby Director Kevin Senio said both men bring important experience to the coaching group.

“Dale knows how to work hard and well in a challenging environment. He knows how to roll with the punches that Covid tends to throw at a rugby team, and he knows how to make the best of whatever hand he gets dealt. His work with Southland on defence got everyone’s attention and his leadership style is a great fit for Moana.

“He is a man who is passionate about rugby and really believes in his players. He has high standards, takes pride in his work, and really invests in the growth and development of players. He’s a welcome addition to the group,” Senio said.

“Likewise, Pauliasi is an excellent signing for our coaching group. He is one of these freak players who has mad talent which is why he has a Rugby World Cup medal from 2015 after he was called in as injury backup for the All Blacks at the 2015 tournament.

“He has been coaching with Counties Manukau and we know that he will bring a fresh players perspective to his coaching. There’s no one better to coach a scrum than someone who intimately knows what it’s like from inside the pack, and what’s needed.”

Both MacLeod and Manu have assembled with the squad which has been getting stuck into its work at its new home base at Mt Smart Stadium.