Pacific rugby

New podcast investigates exploitation of Pacific Nations in rugby

A new podcast aims to get to the bottom of what is holding Nations like Fiji, Tonga and Samoa back from their immense potential.

The six-part series comes from Radio New Zealand and is hosted by comedian James Nokise and former professional rugby player and journalist John Daniell. One of the six episodes will be hosted by sports journalist Talei Anderson and focus purely on the women’s game in the Pacific.

World Rugby defends Pacific involvement in new women's competition

WXV is a three-tier tournament beginning in 2023 that aims to boost depth ahead of an expanded 16-team World Cup in 2025.

Fiji Rugby CEO John O'Connor said they were excited for the Fijiana to play more international matches.

"Where we are in the competition will depend mostly on how we perform in the World Cup. It's a blessing the World Cup has been moved to 2022," he said.

Māori All Black game concerns NZ Rugby staff

RNZ understands the New Zealand Rugby board have signed off on the match.

However some NZR staff are unhappy about the game, which is forecast to make a $150,000 loss, after the organisation made a quarter of it's staff redundant in June, cutting 40 jobs.

New Zealand Rugby is projecting a loss of more than 40 million dollars in 2020, due to the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic.

NZR has received $5.8 million in wage subsidies from government under its Covid-10 financial assistance packages.

Kanaloa lays complaint with NZR over Super Rugby snub

The Auckland-based Moana Pasifika bid and a Fiji-led delegation are NZR's preferred partners to join a 12 team Super competition in 2022, alongside the existing five teams from New Zealand and five from Australia.

The Moana Pasifika group is backed by former All Blacks Sir Bryan Williams and Sir Michael Jones and the head of the New Zealand Rugby Players Association Rob Nichol.

But Kanaloa Pasifika Rugby claim NZR has breached the formal tender process and is demanding it be appointed as the lead entity to form a new Pasifika team.

Super Rugby to shift to 12-team format in 2022, introduce two Pacific teams

According to a report from the New Zealand Herald, the ten NZ and Australian sides will welcome a Moana Pasifika and a Fijian side into a 12-team competition for 2022.

The report corroborates with comments made by Highlanders chief executive Roger Clark last week.

Oceania Rugby World Cup repechage confirmed for Auckland

The match is part of a triple header including games between the New Zealand Defence Services and Police and the World Champion Black Ferns and a Barbarians team.

As previously reported by RNZ Pacific, the repechage qualifier will be staged at the Trusts Arena in Waitakere, with the winner to advance to the final Rugby World Cup repechage tournament.

The match was originally meant to take place in Apia in April but was postponed due to Covid-19.

Oceania Rugby General Manager Bruce Cook said they're delighted to finally have the details confirmed.

Sir Bryan Williams urges NZ Rugby to rethink snub of Pasifika team for 2021 Super Rugby

NZR chair Brent Impey this week confirmed the 2021 competition will be like the five-team Super Rugby Aotearoa format and not feature interested parties which bid to be included along with the Blues, Chiefs, Crusaders, Highlanders and Hurricanes.

One of those was Moana Pasifika, an Auckland-based bid supported by prominent Pasifika leaders and rugby figures including Williams, who believes it’s a wonderful opportunity to enhance Pasifika rugby after being “left out in the cold” by NZR when the game turned professional in 1995.

The future of rugby unions in Pacific uncertain

For unions like Samoa, Fiji and Tonga, commercial viability was already challenging and with USA Rugby filing for bankruptcy along with larger rugby nations facing serious financial worries, Pacific clubs and unions were becoming concerned for their future.

The CEO of Samoa Rugby, Faleomavaega Vincent Fepulea'i, said he was seeking financial support from World Rugby.

Māori or Pacific Island heritage needed in All Blacks coaching set-up - SBW

Head coach Steve Hansen will complete his tenure after Friday's bronze medal match against Wales in Japan.

Assistant coach Ian Foster has already expressed his interest in the position, while there are sure to be other high profile candidates.

Asked what positive traits Foster could bring to the role, Williams wouldn't be drawn other than to say he knew there would be a lot of interested applicants.

But the cross-code star, who is of Samoan heritage, did reveal a suggestion for New Zealand Rugby about the next All Blacks coaching group.

Call for Australia and NZ to help fund Pacific rugby

Tonga, Samoa and Fiji's performances at the World Cup were hampered by a lack of economic resources, Fiji economist Wadan Narsey said.

He said if a Pacific team was included in the Super Rugby competition, it would strengthen Pacific rugby unions financially.

Hundreds of millions of dollars in aid that New Zealand and Australia gave to the Pacific had a negligible political impact, he said.