Planet Rugby

Japan lose IRB Pacific Nations Cup

26th April 2011 08:05



Japan: 2011 IRB Pacific Nations Cup matches relocated

The IRB has reluctantly announced that all but one of the IRB Pacific Nations Cup 2011 matches will be moved from Japan to Fiji.

The decision, taken jointly with the Japan Rugby Football Union (JRFU), was made after the devastating earthquake and Tsunami that hit the north-east coast of Japan on March 11.

It follows a detailed review of the logistical, administrative and operational requirements for hosting four international teams and six Test matches and will now enable the JRFU to fully focus on its core business and Rugby World Cup 2011 preparations as Japan starts the extensive rebuilding process.

The tournament will retain the same dates with the opening round taking place on July 2, the second round on July 9 and the final round of matches on July 13. The match between Japan and Samoa on July 2 will remain in Tokyo with the five remaining matches relocated to Lautoka and Suva.

"This has been a hard decision for everyone involved, given that the Japan Rugby Football Union has shown great enthusiasm for hosting the IRB Pacific Nations Cup this year, but all stakeholders agreed that it is in the best interests of the Union, the nation and the tournament," said IRB Chairman Bernard Lapasset.

"The thoughts of the global Rugby family continue to be with the people of Japan and everyone affected by the earthquake and Tsunami as they focus on the rebuilding process across the country. We will continue to give the Japan Rugby Football Union our support and assistance."

IRB Regional General Manager for Oceania and Tournament Director William Glenwright added: "An international event of this magnitude, which was broadcast in over 150 countries in 2010, requires a considerable amount of detailed logistical and operational planning and preparation."

"The Japan Rugby Football Union, like everyone in Japan, has been acutely affected by the earthquake and Tsunami and their focus, quite rightly, is on continuing to give the Japanese Rugby community the best support they can as well as preparing for their participation at Rugby World Cup 2011 in less than five months time."

"The Japan Rugby Football Union has been incredibly supportive throughout this difficult process and the IRB is committed to ensuring that they remain central to a tournament that they have worked so hard on hosting.

It is therefore fitting that Samoa, who experienced the devastating impact of a Tsunami in 2009, will play their match against Japan in Tokyo as scheduled in a show of solidarity and support."

While disappointed that the event has moved, the Japan Rugby Football Union recognised that the decision to relocate was the appropriate action to take and are committed to continuing to play their part to ensure that the tournament is a success.

"The relocation of matches was a difficult decision to take for the Japan Rugby Football Union and the IRB. It was a great disappointment, given our commitment to delivering an outstanding tournament, but it was the logical decision," said JRFU Chairman Tatsuzo Yabe.

"However, we are pleased that we will be playing Samoa in Tokyo as scheduled and will use the match as a sign of support for the Japan Rugby community, while showing our ability to deliver a superb Test match."

"We would like to take this opportunity to thank the Fiji Rugby Union for stepping up to host at short notice and we give our full support and blessing to the Union."

The Fiji Rugby Union successfully hosted the IRB Pacific Nations Cup in 2009 and are working in collaboration with the IRB and JRFU on relocating the tournament to Fiji and delivering a successful event.

"We have all been shocked by the devastating scenes in Japan. In hosting this tournament we will extend the hand of friendship and support to the Japan Rugby Football Union and the entire Japan Rugby community," said FRU Chief Executive Officer Keni Dakuidreketi.

"We are committed to this tournament being a symbol of solidarity for our friends in Japan and a showcase of Pacific Rugby talent. We look forward to welcoming the Japan team and all other participating teams to our shores."

Forthcoming Fixtures
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Friday , October 24
Munster vs SaracensMunster vs Saracens Preview
Saturday , October 25
Ulster vs Toulon13:00
Scarlets vs Leicester19:45
Bath vs Toulouse15:15
Montpellier vs Glasgow17:15
Northampton vs Ospreys17:15
Sunday , October 26
Clermont Auvergne vs Sale Sharks15:15
Castres vs Leinster13:00
Wasps vs Harlequins17:15
Benetton Treviso vs Racing Metro 9217:15
More European Rugby Champions Cup fixtures
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Thursday , October 23
London Welsh vs Bordeaux-BeglesLondon Welsh vs Bordeaux-Begles Preview
Friday , October 24
La Rochelle vs Bayonne18:30
Brive vs Zebre18:30
Grenoble vs London IrishGrenoble vs London Irish Preview
Newport Gwent D'gons vs Newcastle19:30
Edinburgh vs LOU Rugby19:45
Saturday , October 25
Bucuresti vs Stade Francais14:00
Rovigo vs Cardiff Blues14:00
Exeter vs Connacht15:00
Oyonnax vs Gloucester19:45
More European Rugby Challenge Cup fixtures
Currie Cup
Saturday , October 25
Western Province vs Lions17:00
More Currie Cup fixtures
Saturday , October 25
Taranaki vs Tasman19:35
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sunday , October 19
Ospreys 42 - 7 Benetton TrevisoOspreys vs Benetton Treviso Report
Toulouse 30 - 23 MontpellierToulouse vs Montpellier Report
Toulon 28 - 18 ScarletsToulon vs Scarlets Report
Leinster 25 - 20 WaspsLeinster vs Wasps Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
London Irish 70 - 14 RovigoLondon Irish vs Rovigo Report
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
International Match
Saturday , October 18
Australia 28 - 29 New ZealandAustralia vs New Zealand Report
More International Match results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sale Sharks 26 - 27 MunsterSale Sharks vs Munster Report
Saracens 30 - 23 Clermont AuvergneSaracens vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Racing Metro 92 20 - 11 NorthamptonRacing Metro 92 vs Northampton Report
Glasgow 37 - 10 BathGlasgow vs Bath Report
Leicester 25 - 18 UlsterLeicester vs Ulster Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
LOU Rugby 28 - 18 London WelshLOU Rugby vs London Welsh Report
Zebre 24 - 33 Oyonnax
Cardiff Blues 37 - 14 Grenoble
Stade Francais 22 - 38 Newport Gwent D'gons
Bayonne 30 - 24 Exeter
Connacht 48 - 12 La Rochelle
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
Currie Cup
Lions 50 - 20 SharksLions vs Sharks Report
Western Province 31 - 23 Blue BullsWestern Province vs Blue Bulls Report
More Currie Cup results
Taranaki 49 - 30 AucklandTaranaki vs Auckland Report
Manawatu 23 - 18 Southland
Tasman 26 - 6 CanterburyTasman vs Canterbury Report
More ITM Cup results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Friday , October 17
Harlequins 25 - 9 CastresHarlequins vs Castres Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Bordeaux-Begles 13 - 15 EdinburghBordeaux-Begles vs Edinburgh Report
Newcastle 43 - 19 Bucuresti
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
Aviva Premiership Table