ADVERTISEMENT
RugbyDump
REGISTER
LOGIN
ADVERTISEMENT
RugbyDump
Thursday Aug 29, 2019

Double header Pacific rugby feast as giants clash this weekend

Fiji, Samoa, Tonga and a New Zealand Heartland XV will take part in the World Rugby Pasifika Challenge II – ‘The Road to Japan’, a blockbuster double header in Auckland this Saturday.

ADVERTISEMENT

The three pacific rivals will look to fine-tune their preparations for Rugby World Cup 2019 at Eden Park when Samoa take on the New Zealand Heartland XV (14:30 local time, GMT+12) and Fiji play their final Rugby World Cup preparation test against Tonga (16:30).

The inaugural Pasifika Challenge was held in 2017 with Wales beating Tonga 24-6 and the All Blacks defeating Manu Samoa 78-0.

World Rugby has partnered with the three unions in a comprehensive four-year programme of high-performance support, and with Rugby World Cup 2019 just 24 days away the teams will be using the opportunity of the Pacific Challenge event to finalise their preparations.

Direct and indirect support from World Rugby for the Pacific Islands unions is expected to reach £20 million from 2016-19, up 30 per cent compared to the previous four year cycle, all geared towards ensuring that the teams arrive at Rugby World Cup 2019 in the best-possible shape.

This is in addition to insurance cover and long-term high-performance initiatives such as the Pacific Combine and the Fijian Drua which help retain and develop the Pacific Islands’ best young talent.

The Pacific Combine is a week-long skills camp run by World Rugby, in association with the Fiji, Samoa and Tonga Rugby Unions, consisting of a programme of on-field and off-field activities for local players who are capped but unsigned. The second edition took place in Suva, Fiji in March 2019, with England attack coach Scott Wisemantel overseeing it for the second year in a row, assisted by former Waratahs head coach Chris Hickey.

ADVERTISEMENT

Top performing players are selected into a high potential playing pool from which some players are given the opportunity to obtain a contract with a semi-professional club in Australia, New Zealand or the USA.

Flying Fijians’ scrum-half Frank Lomani was first scouted at the Pacific Combine in 2018 and integrated into the Fijian Drua squad before graduating to play test rugby.

The Drua is a three-way initiative from World Rugby, the Fiji Rugby Union and the Fiji Sports Council to fund and support a Fijian team to play in Australia’s National Rugby Championship (NRC). Since its creation in 2017, a number of Drua players have graduated through the ranks of the Flying Fijians and seven of them will represent their country in Japan.

ADVERTISEMENT

In November 2018, Fiji and Samoa were welcomed on to World Rugby Council for the first time, expressing the federation’s ambition of wider representation in its governance and the importance of the experience and insights brought to the global game by the Pacific Island nations.

– World Rugby

Related Articles

  • 28 WEEKS AGO

    Manu Tuilagi will play a surprising role...

  • 28 WEEKS AGO

    Australia say they're the safe bet for RWC...

  • 29 WEEKS AGO

    Russell believes Scotland can become a Top...



ADVERTISEMENT

Great Tries

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    Watch: Blues score two STUNNING tries against Queensland Reds

  • 4 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: Racing 92 know how play ‘GORGEOUS’ rugby

  • 5 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: Teddy Thomas rinses defence with BLISTERING pace

  • 6 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: Every Ulster try scored in Europe this season..and it’s glorious!

  • 7 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: Fijian Drua show RIDICULOUS skillset and can score from anywhere

View All

Big Hits & Dirty Play

  • 6 DAYS AGO

    Fans outraged after shocking Owen Farrell moment

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    WATCH: Big Rugby Collision In South African Schools Match

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    WATCH: Sickening Shot Leaves Motionless

  • 3 WEEKS AGO

    Hardest hit of all time

  • 4 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: Duhan Van der Merwe makes INCREDIBLE try saving tackle

View All

See It To Believe It

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    Hooker scores masterful try

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    Tadhg Furlong produces one of the best ever passes by a forward

  • 3 WEEKS AGO

    Hardest hit of all time

  • 3 WEEKS AGO

    Leicester Tigers respond to hilarious fan incident

  • 3 WEEKS AGO

    Thrilling clash between Munster and Toulouse settled by a place kick shootout

View All

Funnies

  • 1 DAY AGO

    Watch: The Internet Remains Undefeated In Champions Cup Build-Up

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    WATCH: First It Was BoJo Now It's ScoMo

  • 4 WEEKS AGO

    Dad and 7 sons in Ireland forward pack

  • 5 WEEKS AGO

    Shocking mistake by Brumbies fullback prevents a certain try

  • 5 WEEKS AGO

    Ellis Genge hits back at Brian Moore

View All

Amateur

  • 4 WEEKS AGO

    Watch: Epic Speech Epitomises Rugby Values

  • 7 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: Epic touchline conversion from Tighthead seals the deal

  • 14 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: Veteran props compared to Tadhg Furlong in new viral video

  • 82 WEEKS AGO

    Viral video of Scottish club brawl goes down a storm with rugby community

  • 119 WEEKS AGO

    RUGBYDUMP BLITZ: This Best of the Week round up is sure to entertain you

View All

Player Features

  • 1 DAY AGO

    Israel Folau named back in international rugby today!

  • 2 DAYS AGO

    James Haskell sends twitter into another meltdown

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    Harlequins full-back to leave at the end of the season

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    Fans shocked after some huge recalls in the England squad

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    Huge opportunity for young prodigy

View All