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Filo Tiatia appointed Assistant Coach for Moana Pasifika

Moana Pasifika Assistant Coach Filo Tiatia. Photo: WalesOnline
Moana Pasifika Assistant Coach Filo Tiatia. Photo: WalesOnline

Moana Pasifika has today confirmed the appointment of Wellington and Hurricanes stalwart, and former All Black Filo Tiatia as Assistant Coach to Aaron Mauger.

New Zealand-born Samoan Tiatia, who has already been working as part of the coaching team, joins the new club with 14 years professional coaching experience and 19 years’ as a professional player.

He is the son of proud dad Tiatia Ieti Tiatia from the villages of Avao and Pu’apu’a and mum Fagaoloa Simanu Tiatia from the vilages of Sapunaoa and Satalo.

Tiatia was a formidable figure on the field playing at No. 8, flanker and lock for Wellington, Toyota Verblitz in Japan and amassed 99 games for Ospreys in Wales. He ran out 57 times with the Hurricanes in Super Rugby and played two Tests for the All Blacks in 2000.

His coaching career included stints with Toyota Verblitz and Ospreys as well as Japanese Super Rugby franchise, the Sunwolves, and Japan’s Brave Blossoms. Over the past three years, he teamed up with Alama Ieremia to coach Auckland to new heights including NPC champion status – a title that had eluded the blue and whites for a decade.

The forwards coach is loving his involvement with Moana.

“We have a lot of amazing talent out there, and this team is an exciting development in professional rugby. I’m really motivated to be part of finding and growing future stars of the international game, and I have a strong desire to help our Pasifika players thrive and deliver exciting, and fun rugby to play and watch.

“Having a strong cultural tie to roots was an important part of my role as a player, and it has been a key part of my coaching style,” says Tiatia.

“Covid has really changed our landscape and preparation time, but I see that as a great opportunity to be innovative and think differently about how we prepare to hit the ground running.”

Head Coach Aaron Mauger said:
“Filo is a proud Samoan who has been around professional rugby teams for over 30 years.  He knows what a good rugby team looks like, he knows the challenges, knows what success looks like and he knows what we need on the field.

“His knowledge and skills as a coach, and his work ethic are incredible. Like many of the people involved in our programme, his heart is that of a proud Pasifika man who cares deeply about being part of this special team.”

Moana Pasifika Director of Rugby Kevin Senio said Tiatia had committed himself early to the team and his contribution to the set-up phase has been immense.

“Filo was an easy choice for us, and we’re delighted to have him in our management team. Aaron’s coaching and management team has an excellent plan in place for preparing the team once they assemble next month.

“I am blown away at how much work Aaron and Filo and the rest of the team have done to ensure we are able to maximise the time we have with players.  We have the added advantage of players who have been able to rest their bodies and minds during lockdown, and their training regimes been able to focus solely on getting themselves ready for our season.  We expect to announce our full management team in the next few weeks,” Senio said.

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