There are 26 days till the Rugby World Champions, All Blacks, take on Manu Samoa at Auckland's Eden Park next month.
Chairman of Samoa’s Rugby Union and Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi was in Auckland last week to officially open the media launch for the Pasifika Challenge.
Pasifika Challenge media launch: Samoan Rugby Union chairman and Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi with former members of Manu Samoa and Manu Sina.
As part of the challenge, Tonga will play Wales, as a curtain-raiser.
Tuilaepa says it is a proud moment not only for the Manu Samoa players but for the people of Samoa.
“Once again we have a chance to re-engage the support of our people,” says Tuilaepa. "It’s so important for the morale of the players to see Samoans in the stands, waving their flag. That’s what it’s all about."
Manu Samoa’s head coach Alama Ieremia, hopes next month's clash will lead to more test matches on his team's home soil.
“The physicality of the All Blacks will be great preparation ahead of the Rugby World Cup qualifiers.”
Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, is confident of what the outcome will be after the match
“It’s not about who wins, it’s the opportunity to expose our people to more international fixtures. That's what matters.”