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
Heineken Cup
Saturday , April 26
Saracens vs Clermont Auvergne15:40
Sunday , April 27
Toulon vs Munster15:30
More Heineken Cup fixtures
RaboDirect PRO12
Saturday , April 26
Glasgow vs EdinburghGlasgow vs Edinburgh Preview
More RaboDirect PRO12 fixtures
Amlin Challenge Cup
Friday , April 25
Northampton vs HarlequinsNorthampton vs Harlequins Preview
Sunday , April 27
Wasps vs Bath13:00
More Amlin Challenge Cup fixtures
Super Rugby
Friday , April 25
Blues vs WaratahsBlues vs Waratahs Preview
Brumbies vs ChiefsBrumbies vs Chiefs Preview
Sharks vs HighlandersSharks vs Highlanders Preview
Saturday , April 26
Hurricanes vs Reds19:35
Western Force vs Bulls17:40
Cheetahs vs Stormers17:05
More Super Rugby fixtures
Recent Results
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , April 20
Northampton 36 - 21 London IrishNorthampton vs London Irish Report
Newcastle 18 - 23 SaracensNewcastle vs Saracens Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Cardiff Blues 17 - 13 ScarletsCardiff Blues vs Scarlets Report
Newport Gwent D'gons 10 - 20 Ospreys
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , April 19
Bath 32 - 20 WorcesterBath vs Worcester Report
Exeter 12 - 55 SaleExeter vs Sale Report
Wasps 38 - 30 GloucesterWasps vs Gloucester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Zebre 26 - 13 EdinburghZebre vs Edinburgh Report
Connacht 23 - 32 MunsterConnacht vs Munster Report
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Top 14
Oyonnax 19 - 19 ToulouseOyonnax vs Toulouse Report
Biarritz 19 - 13 Brive
Perpignan 31 - 46 ToulonPerpignan vs Toulon Report
Racing Metro Paris 22 - 6 Clermont AuvergneRacing Metro Paris vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Stade Francais 37 - 23 Bordeaux-Begles
Grenoble 21 - 21 Bayonne
More Top 14 results
Super Rugby
Chiefs 17 - 18 CrusadersChiefs vs Crusaders Report
Sharks 19 - 8 CheetahsSharks vs Cheetahs Report
Waratahs 19 - 12 BullsWaratahs vs Bulls Report
Stormers 18 - 3 LionsStormers vs Lions Report
More Super Rugby results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , April 18
Harlequins 24 - 20 LeicesterHarlequins vs Leicester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Leinster 62 - 7 Benetton TrevisoLeinster vs Benetton Treviso Report
Glasgow 27 - 9 UlsterGlasgow vs Ulster Report
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Top 14
Castres 22 - 15 MontpellierCastres vs Montpellier Report
More Top 14 results
Super Rugby
Hurricanes 39 - 20 BluesHurricanes vs Blues Report
Melbourne Rebels 22 - 16 Western Force
More Super Rugby results
Aviva Premiership Table
4Leicester Tigers2064