Penina Pasifika women’s rugby team arrives in Australia

The recently formed Penina Pasifika women’s rugby team has touched down in Australia and is gearing up for their inaugural match against the Queensland Reds in the Super Rugby Women pre-season tournament.

Local Pasifika leaders, community figures, and Rugby Australia officials extended a warm welcome to the team during a special dinner this week.

City of Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate greeted each player and affirmed the community’s readiness to support the team during their stay, saying: “I am looking forward to attending their matches and witnessing the talent they bring to the field.”

Rugby Australia’s Pacific Partnership Manager, Daniel Millis highlighted the collaboration that has brought the team this far, saying: “We are honoured to partner with Pacific Unions, World Rugby, Oceania Rugby, and the Australian Government to provide players with an unparalleled development opportunity to strengthen women’s rugby across our region.”

In response, Tonga’s Shonte’ To’a thanked the local community and acknowledged the Jellurgal First Nations people of the Gold Coast.

“We are grateful to Uncle John and the custodians of the land, past, present, and emerging,” she said.

Samoa’s Nina Foaese also thanked PacificAus Sports and the Gold Coast community for hosting the team.

The Australian government, Rugby Australia, Oceania Rugby, and World Rugby have actively supported the establishment of the Penina Pasifika rugby team.

The team’s funding, provided through the Australian Government’s PacificAus Sports program, seeks to foster new opportunities for athletes, coaches, and administrators through collaborative partnerships.

The Penina Pasifika team is scheduled to meet with the Queensland Reds at Ballymore in Brisbane on Saturday, February 23.