Baby Named After Rugby Game

In 1994, the Welsh rugby team traveled to the South Pacific, competed against Manu Samoa, and lost. According to the BBC, “[T]he men in red simply could not deal with the power and pace of the islanders, nor the stifling heat, as they slipped from 14-9 down at the break to a crushing 34-9 defeat.”

Soon after, the rugby game got a namesake. A baby boy born during the game was named “Wales Manu Samoa 9-34 Moamoa” — from the names of the teams, the final score, and the game’s location. The baby’s grandmother, Sia Gale, recently explained:

While we were cheering the Manu v Wales at Moamoa field, my [late] daughter-in-law (Talaleu Papalii) gave birth to a boy.

My son (Kirk Faatupuloto Gale) called us and relayed the good news after the game, so I automatically told him to name my first grandson after the Manu Samoa v Wales game.

So my grandson’s name is Wales Manu Samoa 9-34 Moamoa Gale.

Sia also explained why she put the Welsh team first: “Manusamoa is a title from a village in Upolu, so I put Wales first and then Manu Samoa.”

According to the Samoa Rugby Union website, “[t]he origin of the name Manu Samoa is surrounded by a veil of myth and legend,” but many believe it was “the name of a famous Samoan chief some 10 generations ago.”

(Also, the word manu happens to mean “bird” in Samoan.)

Sources: About a Samoan boy… named Wales, The bone-rattlers: Samoan rugby


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