Planet Rugby

Samoa face Tonga in PNC opener

09th April 2014 18:43

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Holders: Fiji

The IRB has announced the match schedule for the Pacific Nations Cup 2014 with Samoa opening up against Tonga.

The exciting new format will feature six teams who will compete in two pools of three. In Pool A Samoa, Tonga and Fiji will battle it out to determine the Pacific Island conference champion for 2014, while in Pool B USA, Canada and Japan will compete for the Asia/Pacific conference title.

The tournament will take place over three match days on June 7, 14 and 21.

With the Rugby World Cup 2015 fast approaching, the IRB Pacific Nations Cup will give valuable and competitive game time to all six teams.

"The Pacific Nations Cup is an excellent opportunity for all participating teams to play some tough, competitive test matches with just over a year to go until Rugby World Cup 2015," said IRB Head of Competitions and Performance, Mark Egan.

"We have a long-term commitment through our 10-year Strategic Plan to create greater levels of quality Test competition for Tier Two nations in order to boost the competitiveness of the world game.

"The PNC will help us reach that goal, but also provide some great rugby for local fans, especially on the last day when great rivals Fiji take on Samoa in Suva and USA host their neighbours Canada in California."

Re-affirming its long-term commitment to boosting the Tier Two competition schedule and the competitiveness of the international Game, the IRB last week confirmed that other Tier Two Unions would be taking part in the IRB Tbilisi Cup and the IRB Nations Cup in June.

The IRB is committed to assisting Tier Two Unions close the competition gap to Tier One through a combination of investment in high performance programme support and a £3.3 million investment in competition structures for the senior national teams.

IRB Pacific Nations Cup 2014 Fixtures (all times are local)

Saturday, June 7

14:00 - Samoa v Tonga, Apia Park, Samoa

18:00 - Canada v Japan, Swangard Stadium, Burnaby, British Columbia

Wednesday, June 14

15:00 - Fiji v Tonga, Churchill Park, Lautoka, Fiji

19:30 - USA v Japan, Stub Hub Center, Los Angeles, CA

Sunday, June 21

15:00 - Fiji v Samoa, ANZ Stadium, Suva, Fiji

15:00 - USA v Canada, Cal Expo Facility, Sacramento, CA

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