Tuesday, March 27, 2007

IRB unveils its plans for the Pacific

January 12, 2006

Rugby Planet reports:

Green light for two new annual tournaments

The International Rugby Board (IRB) has unveiled the format of a new annual tournament that will involve the national teams from Fiji, Japan, Samoa, Tonga and the Junior All Blacks.

The tournament, to be called the Pacific Five Nations, will kick-off in June 2006 and the initiative is part of the US$50 million strategic investment programme for the game that was launched in August 2005.

Each side will play four matches, two home and two away, during the traditional June/July Test window.

An initial three-year programme of fixtures has been confirmed among the five unions and the IRB believes it can develop a viable commercial programme for the competition.

In addition to the new Pacific Five Nations tournament the IRB is working with the Pacific Island Unions to establish a Pacific Triangular Championship that will provide regular competition for emerging players in the Islands.

The tournament will involve two representative regional teams from each of Fiji, Samoa and Tonga and it will kick-off on April 15.



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