29 Oct 2012

Sport: Samoan teams want to form official links with NZ rugby

11:39 am on 29 October 2012

Members of the Samoan rugby community in New Zealand say it's time they become properly affiliated with the New Zealand Rugby Union.

The New Zealand Samoans women's team head to Fiji this week for a two match tour celebrating Samoa's Independence.

The team features some former Samoan internationals and coach Nick Bakulich says teams and tours such as these are important for retaining and celebrating Pacific cultures.

He says it's time the local Samoan rugby community and the New Zealand Rugby Union formalised their relationship.

"And I think it's important, in terms of a way moving forward, and I think it's probably time for that to happen given the sheer numbers involved and look at the bigger centres - Auckland, Wellington - where Pacific players make up a big number of senior club rugby."

The New Zealand Samoans women's team will play matches against an invitational team and the Fijian women's team during the tour.