Samoa

Russell and Ford fit for Scotland against Samoa

Hooker Ford had been a major doubt with a head knock picked up during the Rugby World Cup defeat by South Africa.

Centre Mark Bennett also returns to a side showing seven changes after missing out against the Springboks.

A victory at St James' Park on Saturday would secure Scotland a place in the quarter-finals.

Samoa cannot now qualify and will be without Newcastle Falcons wing Alesana Tuilagi, who has been suspended after foul play during his side's weekend defeat by Japan.

Samoan Alesana Tuilagi suspended for five weeks

Tuilagi struck Japan's Harumichi Tatekawa with his knee in the second minute of the Pool B match on Sunday.

He denied the act of foul play but was found guilty by the citing commissioner and will miss Samoa's last match against Scotland at St James' Park on Sunday.

Samoa cannot reach the quarter-finals after losses to Japan and South Africa in Pool B.

Pacific police gather for crime conference

Police representatives from across the region are attending the three-day gathering.

The Samoa Police Commissioner, Egon Keil, says the conference will allow police to share experiences and concerns.

"We're going to be going through some very, very intense training and some experiences sharing so we can focus on the regional issues. Because if it's happening in Samoa, we'd like to know what Fiji is doing about it, what New Zealand is doing about it, what Australia is doing about it, so we can combat it here in Samoa."

Japan's batteries recharged for Samoa showdown, says Luke Thompson

The Brave Blossoms face Samoa at Milton Keynes in a match that will make or break their quarter-final chances. After stunning South Africa in their opening game in Pool B, Japan played Scotland just four days later and faded after an hour, slipping to a 45-10 defeat.

Eddie Jones’ men, however, have recuperated over the past six days in the quiet of Warwick, where the team have been able to focus on preparing for the Samoa game.

Pacific marks six years since deadly tsunami

On Saturday, American Samoa held a memorial service for the 34 victims killed there.

The names of the children, father and mothers, who died in the tsunami were read and monetary awards were presented to the children who lost their parents.

The money was donated by the One Global Family organisation, founded by Laura Ava-Tesimale.

The Governor, Lolo Matalasi Moliga said the pain and suffering endured by families of the victims of the tsunami still lingers on and will never end.

Springboks make eight changes to face Samoa

Adriaan Strauss, who will win his 50th cap, is the starting hooker, while Duane Vermeulen will make his first Test appearance of the year in the No 8 jersey as coach Heyneke Meyer reacted swiftly to the shock of defeat against Japan.

Willie le Roux, JP Pietersen and Damian De Allende return in the backline – with skipper Jean de Villiers shifting to outside centre – while there are new halfbacks in Handré Pollard and Fourie du Preez.

Pacific teams confident as RWC kicks off

First up is England in the opening match of the tournament at Twickenham on Saturday morning.

Expecting a raucous atmosphere, head coach John McKee revealed during the week his team used loud speakers during training camps in an effort to prepare for the atmosphere at the home of English rugby.

While the bulk of the 82,000 strong Twickenham crowd will be barracking for the home side but coach John McKee says the Pacific Nations Cup winners are embracing the occasion.

Waigani Convention on hazardous waste management begins

Nine of the 13 Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) Members that are Parties to the Waigani Convention were present at the meeting. SPREP is the Secretariat of the Waigani Convention that entered into force in 2001.

New York opportunity for Pacific artisans

The Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) and the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS) are inviting cultural enterprises in the crafts, visual arts and fashion sectors from Fiji, Samoa and Solomon Islands to apply for funded participation at the popular tradeshow which attracted over 30,000 buyers from over 80 countries this year.

Health scare for athletes in Samoa

Dr Seine Va'ai says there are also people suffering from the heat.

The Ministry's advice come after reports some athletes competing at the Commonwealth Youth Games needed treatment for diarrhoea and vomiting.

It says people can avoid the transmission of disease by ensuring they have access to clean drinking water, adequate sanitation and good personal hygiene.