Pacific Nations Cup

July schedule confirmed for Pacific rugby nations

The Flying Fijians will now play two tests against the All Blacks on 10 and 17 July after their home series against Ireland was cancelled because of Covid-19.

Fiji have played New Zealand nine previous occasions, including five tests, the last of which was a 60-14 defeat in Dunedin a decade ago.

As previously confirmed by RNZ Pacific, the Rugby World Cup 2023 qualifier between Samoa and Tonga will be played in New Zealand over two legs.

Japan win PNC, Fiji come second

The Brave Blossoms, will host the Rugby World Cup in just under six weeks time, and the team seems to have had the best possible preparations so far.

Japan started their virtual PNC final against the Eagles with tremendous precision, scoring within three minutes through their inspirational captain Michael Leitch, on their way to 17 unanswered points.

However it was then that USA sevens star Madison Hughes scored to give the Americans some hope.

Goneva named in Flying Fijians starting line-up

Goneva missed the first four matches and has impressed Coach John McKee with fellow Nadi man Setareki Tuicuvu during training.

The duo will be in the starting fifteens game.

“We all know what a great player he is and a leader on and off the field,’ McKee said in his remarks about Goneva.

“Tuicuvu is a young player on the way up and has had some real match time.”

McKee adds that the Nadi duo are in top form and will be players to watch.

Ben Volavola also returns to start at fly-half after missing the match against Canada.

Four players that started for Manu Samoa last weekend retain their places

The Steve Jackson coached side lost to USA 13-10 last week.

Filo Paulo remains in the second‑row while TJ Ioane moves from openside to number eight.

In the backs, outside centre Kieron Fonotia and full‑back Ahsee Tuala survive the cut.

Logovi'i Munipola, Motu Matu'u and Paul Alo Emile form an all‑new front‑row partnership and Kane Leaupepe joins Paulo in the second row.

Jack Lam captains Samoa for the fourth time at openside and Chris Vui packs down on the other flank.

Manu Samoa mindful of crucial battle against Flying Fijians

Head Coach Steve Jackson said they know that it will be a physical and rugged rugby experience.

 “Any Fiji and Samoa test is foremost going to be physical battle and big collisions, he said.

“I have told the boys to stick to a system and structure and those who will be on the ground will expect physical contacts.”

Jackson adds Fiji has beaten some very good teams and it would be a very exciting match to watch.

“This is an opportunity to get our confidence back after last weekend will be looking to step up our game and run the game as we expect.”

Flying Fijians expected to feature new players

Coach John McKee says he will mix his line-up with some senior and experienced players.

“This week you’ll see probably see some players who have never played up until now to now to combine with some who have been playing in the past weeks.” 

The Fiji Times reports that the players are bracing for a fast and physical Pacific rugby rivalry encounter on Saturday in the World Rugby sanctioned tournament.

Fiji has fallen short of retaining the title after their loss to Japan in the first round and a win against Canada in the second round.

New winner expected at the Pacific Nations Cup

All teams now have one remaining game and even if Fiji defeats Samoa, they will still not be in contention for the title.

If Japan beat the USA they are set to win the title, for the first time since 2014.

Fiji will play Samoa in their next Pacific Nations Cup match at ANZ Stadium in Suva this Saturday.

     

Fiji draft 9 players as 27-man squad named for Pacific Nations

The match against Japan will serve as a key Rugby World Cup warm up for Fiji who play Uruguay in their second pool game of the tournament in Japan at the Kamaishi Recovery Memorial Stadium on September 25.

Tonga gifted a spot at RWC 2019 in Japan

With the combined results of the 2016 and 2017 cups doubling as World Cup qualifiers, Samoa needed to at least draw with the unbeaten Fijians to overhaul Tonga and reach the tournament in Japan in two years time.

Even a bonus point in defeat might have been enough.

They led 16-14 at half time in Apia but had no answers as Fiji over-ran them in the second half.

Fiji, who secured qualification last week when they defeated Tonga 14-10, scored five tries in total, including a hat-trick to scrumhalf Henry Seniloli.