29 May 2020

Manuma rugby team finally return to Samoa after months away

3:15 pm on 29 May 2020

A Samoan rugby team has returned home after spending almost three months in New Zealand because of Covid-19.

Manumā Samoa squad to debut in the 2020 Global Rapid Rugby season.

Manumā Samoa squad to debut in the 2020 Global Rapid Rugby season. Photo: RNZ / Talei Anderson

The Manuma Samoa spent 14 days in isolation after arriving in Auckland on 16 March, following their Rapid Rugby match in Perth, but had to remain at the hostel after being caught in the national lockdown.

Seventeen players and six management staff boarded the first repatriation flight from New Zealand today.

Pacific Rugby Players association board member and former Manu Samoa player, Seilala Mapusua, said the team was relieved to return to their families.

"It's been a long couple of months for them...there's some pretty happy boys right now.

"They've been away from family and friends for quite a while and they'll be happy just to get home and get back to some kind of normality," he said.

Despite their return, the team will need to wait a little longer before reuniting with family, with a mandatory 14 days of quarantine for passengers.

"They're not quite home yet but at least they're on their way. I'm sure they'll love to be in quarantine at least on home soil."

Passengers arrrive at Auckland Airport Monday 16 March

Photo: RNZ / Dan Cook

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