Fiji rugby

Ireland could re-route summer tours to Pacific islands - report

According to the article by seasoned Irish rugby journalist Gerry Thornley, Andy Farrell’s men could face off against some or all of Fiji, Samoa and Tonga in three test series set to commence in July.

Currently, Fiji has extremely low levels of Covid-19 meaning Ireland could potentially use the island as a base of operations in the South Pacific.

The context of course is whether or not the IRFU decide to risk a summer tour given the vagaries of the pandemic and the potential for matches to be cancelled.

Hypothetical teams show how Fiji, Tonga and Samoa could be world class

Many of the Pacific Islands‘ brightest stars have been hoovered up by the likes of Australia and New Zealand for many years, while even the northern hemisphere nations have done the same in recent years.

Independent not-for-profit players association Pacific Rugby Welfare posted hypothetical teams for the three Pacific Island nations, which are made up of players who could have represented Fiji, Tonga and Samoa.

Tamanivalu would jump at Flying Fijians rugby switch

Players can switch their international allegiance by participating in Olympic sevens qualifying events, provided they have a passport for a second country and have completed a stand down period of at least three three years.

Tamanivalu moved to New Zealand as a teenager to attend Saint Kentigern College, before going on to represent the Chiefs and Crusaders in Super Rugby.

Tamanivalu played three tests for the All Blacks in 2016 but said he would love the chance to represent his Fijian heritage.

Vern Cotter believes Super Rugby boost will help keep Fiji talent at home

Cotter has revealed a lack of opportunities to remain at home rather than accept lucrative contracts in Europe, Japan and USA – along with the option of choosing to represent another country – is evident when he tries to recruit talent for the Fiji national squad.

Cotter told SunSport: “It’s the hesitation in their voice when asked to play for Fiji.”

World Rugby has committed to helping fund the two Pacific Islands teams for an initial three-year period to support the two franchises.

Fijian Super Rugby team needs $NZ10m

The Fijian Drua and Moana Pasifika were announced in November as New Zealand Rugby's preferred partners to join an expanded 12-team competition in 2022, subject to meeting a range of conditions.

FRU Chair, Conway Beg, said they need to demonstrate that a Super Rugby franchise in Fiji will be financially sustainable.

"We have to get the capital in place. Otherwise we won't be able to make the dream a reality."

Private money to back Fiji franchise entry into Super Rugby 2022

The kicker is that the team is likely now to be privately owned, with the union holding a minority stake in the franchise.

The entry of one or more Pasifika sides into Super Rugby has been the subject of much debate in the southern hemisphere, with Moana Pasifika set to enter future Super Rugby competitions. A third bid – Kanaloa Pasifika – even threatened to sue the New Zealand Rugby (NZR) after their bid was snubbed last November.

Fiji hit by illness and injury as they prepare to defend Olympic sevens gold

Despite concerns over the postponed games taking place due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Japan, Fiji have started their preparations by holding a series of tournaments at home to fill the void created by the cancellation of the HSBC World Series Series events.

Fiji boss sends warning to overseas XVs stars hopping on Olympic bandwagon

A set of criteria have been established in conjunction with coach Gareth Baber to try and sidestep the kind of pandemic problems that restricted the Fijian 15s team to just one game during the recent Autumn Nations Cup in Europe which saw numerous players and staff return positive tests. Bristol’s Semi Radradra has made it clear he wants to be part of the gold medal defence and Baber would like to include other European based players if they can be released for pre-Games camps and matches.

World Rugby agrees measures to ensure no repeat of last year's Francis Kean election gaffe

Eight candidates were unveiled in May by World Rugby to contest the election for seven places on its executive committee.

Kean was nominated and proposed by the Fiji Rugby Union and seconded by the Federation Francaise de Rugby, whose president Bernard Laporte was seeking to become World Rugby’s new vice-president, a role he went on to clinch. 

'Semi definitely has an intention and a desire to play in the Olympics'

Fijian-based Tuwai was recently named the best 7s player of the decade at the World Rugby awards while Radradra’s 2020 move to Bristol in the Gallagher Premiership cemented his position as arguably the best rugby player in any version of the sport.

Baber has the unenviable job of replicating the 2016 gold medal triumph fashioned by Ben Ryan in Rio, and his preparations have been severely affected by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic which saw the originally scheduled 2020 Games postponed for a year.