The Fetu Samoa women’s rugby league team will take on the Silver Ferns as part of a blockbuster All-Pacific double header on June 22 at Mt Smart Stadium in Auckland.
The women’s match will enhance what will be an electric occasion as the New Zealand Kiwis take on Mate Ma‘a Tonga in the second match of the double-header – the highly-anticipated opening match of the Oceania Cup.
Rugby League Samoa had earlier confirmed the appointment of Glenn Brailey as the new head coach for Fetu Samoa replacing Frank Fuimaono who will continue a role as assistant coach.
The 50-year-old Australian comes to Fetu Samoa with 10 years of coaching experience. Glenn is the Academy and Talent Identification Manager at Cronulla Sharks, also coaches the Cronulla Sharks women’s team.
Rugby League Samoa President Tagaloa Faafouina Sua conducted a rigorous recruitment process, with Glenn emerging as the unanimous choice.
“Brailey has an outstanding track record of coaching throughout his tenure at the Sharks, has developed some of the best young talent in New South Wales and plays an exciting, progressive style of Rugby League that fits Samoa perfectly.
Glenn’s standards and passionate approach and his sense of values on and off the pitch make him the ideal person to take Samoa forward.” said Tagaloa.
The women’s match will be the first time the two Pacific rivals have clashed in 11 years, with the Kiwi Ferns winning the last match between the two nations at the 2008 Women’s Rugby League World Cup in Brisbane.
New Zealand Rugby League Chief Executive Officer Greg Peters was thrilled to announce the match.
“The Kiwi Ferns versus Fetu Samoa match is going to enhance what is going to be a momentous occasion for Rugby League in New Zealand and the wider Pacific.”
“We’re really thrilled that players from both teams will have the opportunity to play in front of their friends, families and supporters.”
“The women’s game is a real priority and it’s key we give the Kiwi Ferns the opportunity to play in Aotearoa and inspire young girls across New Zealand who dream of pulling on the black and white jersey.”
Rugby League Samoa President Tagaloa Faafouina Su’a said he was delighted that Fetu Samoa would get to face top class opposition in the Kiwi Ferns.
“It’s great to have Fetu Samoa back playing 13-a-side Test Rugby League on what will be a really special occasion for our team.”
“Developing Fetu Samoa is a real focus for us, so to have our women playing on such a big stage is a real boost for the women’s game.”
Masuisuimatamaalii “Sui” Pauaraisa told Samoa Global News that the team made up of New Zealand and Australia based players, have gone into camp today in preparation for the Saturday one-off match against the Kiwi Ferns.
Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development, Head of Major Events Stuart Turner says the announcement of Fetu Samoa as opponents for the Kiwi Ferns clash is the perfect complement to a blockbuster year of league events taking place in Auckland.
“This historic double header will attract a strong crowd of supporters from throughout the country and the Pacific in one of our traditionally quieter months.”
Tickets go on sale for the double-header at Mt Smart Stadium on April 11. Fans can join the waitlist for early access to tickets at GBOceaniaTour.com.
The Kiwis-Mate Ma‘a Tonga clash is the first time the two teams will meet since Tonga shocked the Kiwis in Hamilton during the Rugby League World Cup.
Gates at Mt Smart Stadium will open at 4pm on June 22 with the Kiwi Ferns-Fetu Samoa match kicking off at 5pm.
The Oceania Cup opener between the New Zealand Kiwis and Mate Ma‘a Tonga will kick off at 7.30pm.