Samoa Rugby

Rapid Rugby an opportunity for Pacific players

Fijian Latui coach Senirusi Seruvakula said the team had spent the last three weeks in camp focused on fitness, defence and mastering the competition's modified rules, which included 35 minutes halves, no gain in ground when kicking directly to touch and nine point "power tries" for attacks launched from within a team's own 22.

"Last week we were working on the rules for the GRR and everyone's understanding, to understand the rules very well and now we are excited for our first game against China [Lions] on Saturday."

Fiji, Samoa make changes for Vancouver 7s

Tuimaba arrived home yesterday morning to join his family who are mourning the loss of his grandfather, who the Yasawa speedster attributes much of his rugby and professional success to.

Ikanikoda sustained a high grade ankle injury in the Monday's Cup final defeat by South Africa in Los Angeles.

Fiji coach Gareth Baber said the squad was fortunate to have enough depth that he could call upon replacements without disruption to their preparation for Canada.

Samoa, Fiji men make winning start at Dubai 7s

The Manu 7s wore a black armband in their opening match against Canada to honour the victims of the measles epidemic which has taken more than 60 lives back in Samoa.

Sir Gordon Tietjens' side conceded two first half tries but responded in kind through Paul Scanlan and Tofatu Solia to go into the half-time break all square at 12-all.

Poor ground conditions a concern for former Manu Samoa lock Daniel Leo

Leo, who is the Player Welfare Manager for Pacific players based in Europe, raised his concern on social media directly to World Rugby about the poor ground set up at Apia Park in Samoa.

Leo made the comment following the PNC clash between Manu Samoa and Tonga.

 Heavy rain had affected the ground conditions and players were covered with mud during the game.
In his tweet today, Leo stated “Would England Rugby, All Blacks, Springboks or any Tier 1 team agree to playing on this? Then why is it acceptable for us poor nations?”

Tonga toasts stadium with win

The tournament, which also involves Fiji, doubles as a qualifier for the World Cup with the combined 2016 and 2017 results deciding which two teams from the region win automatic berths in Japan in 2019.

It was the first test Tonga have hosted in eight years and drew a crowd of around 10,000 at the newly-refurbished Teufaiva Stadium in the Tongan capital.

Tongan halfback Sonatane Takulua scored all of his side's points in the second half with a converted try and a penalty as they built on their 20-16 lead at the break to hold off a late charge from the Samoans.

More Pacific rugby tests backed to close the gap

From 2020, there will be a big increase in matches between top and second-tier nations, including a commitment from England and France to play in the Pacific.

Southern Hemisphere teams have committed to hosting tier-two teams in the new July test window, while Six Nations sides have guaranteed to host a minimum of six matches against second-tier teams in November.

Tonga head coach Toutai Kefu said more test matches against tier one nations can only be good for Pacific Island countries.

Fiji Warriors look to seal title defence

The hosts have maximum points after beating Tonga A and Junior Japan, and face Samoa A in today's final round-robin clash in Suva.

Tonga and Japan square off in the early match, with both teams needing to win big to draw level with Fiji on ten points.

They also need Samoa A to knock off the defending champions and deny them a bonus point.

Warriors coach Senirusi Seruvakula said they would not be letting up.

"We want to finish the competition on a high note and we're taking this game against Samoa very seriously."

More tests, money needed to boost Pacific league teams

The Mate Ma'a will take on Fiji in May's Pacific Test, which has been boosted by the inclusion of England and the Cook Islands.

Woolf was excited by the growth of the international weekend.

"It's great to see that it's expanding and really good to see the Cook Islands involved - they've certainly deserved that for a while I think," he said.

"They were really competitive at the last World Cup and they were really hard for us to beat not that long ago in a World Cup qualifier as well.

Fiji, Samoa A teams to contest Americas Pacific Challenge

The World Rugby funded tournament replaces the former Pacific Rugby Challenge and aims to boost the high-performance pathway for tier-two nations.

Samoa A have been drawn in Pool A, alongside the Argentina XV and USA Selects, with Fiji Warriors, Canada A and Uruguay A in Pool B.

Teams will play each side in their opposite pool once, with the placing determined on total points after the three rounds.

World Rugby Vice-Chairm Agustín Pichot said the tournament is part of the governing body's strategy to boost tier-two teams in a World Cup cycle.