Pacific Islanders rugby union team

Pacific Islanders rugby union team

Rugby team
teamname= Pacific Islanders


imagesize = 60px
union = Pacific Islands Rugby Alliance Fiji Rugby Union
Samoa Rugby Football Union
Tonga Rugby Football Union
nickname =
coach = flagicon|Fiji Ilivasi Tabua
year = 2006
captain = flagicon|Fiji Moses Rauluni (2008)
from = 2006
appearances =
caps =
top scorer 2006 = flagicon|Fiji Kameli Ratuvou (15)
toptestscorer =
pattern_la1 = _redshoulders
pattern_b1 = _redshoulders
pattern_ra1 = _redshoulders
pattern_so1 =
pattern_sh1 =
leftarm1 = ffffff
body1 = ffffff
rightarm1 =ffffff
shorts1 = ffffff
socks1 = 0000ff
first = Queensland Reds 29 - 48 PIru
(20 June, 2004)
bigwin = NSW Waratahs 21 - 68 PIru
(25 June, 2004)
bigloss = ru-rt|IRE 61 - 17 PIru
(26 November, 2006)
country

countryflag2 = Samoa
countryflag3 = Tonga
The Pacific Islanders rugby union team (usually known as just Pacific Islanders) are an international rugby union team, started in 2004, that represents Fiji, Samoa and Tonga. While Niue and the Cook Islands are not members of the Pacific Tri-Nations competition, they did supply players to the squad for the Pacific Islanders' tour in 2004 (but not in 2006). The team does not play at Rugby World Cups, where each of the nations represents itself but the Pacific Islanders rugby union team tours every two years.

Rugby union is the most popular sport in Fiji, Tonga and Samoa but with the advent of professionalism they have been unable to compete with richer nations. More of their top players play in New Zealand, Australia, Japan or Europe and may not always be available.

History

Australia/New Zealand 2004

The Pacific Islands Rugby Alliance (PIRA) was formed in 2003. The coach is appointed by the Islanders board and in turn supported by the national coaches of Fiji, Samoa and Tonga. Its team, the Pacific Islanders, is drawn from the best Fijian, Tongan and Samoan players, and created far more interest on their inaugural 2004 tour than any of the three nations could have hoped to individually. Despite losing every game, 14-29 vs Australia, 26-41 vs New Zealand and 24-38 vs South Africa, they were impressive in all three tests and played full strength teams, something that rarely happens when major nations play Tonga, Fiji or Samoa. The Islanders did, however, beat a Queensland XV 48-29 at Ballymore and NSW Waratahs 68-21 at Aussie Stadium.

Celtic Nations 2006

As the individual nations were primarily concerned with qualifying for the next World Cup the Islanders did not tour again until 2006. Scheduled matches against Italy and New Zealand in June 2006 did not take place, but they undertook a Northern Hemisphere tour in late 2006 with matches against Scotland, Wales and Ireland. PIRA had ruled in July 2006 that the team selected for that year's tour to Great Britain and Ireland would consist only of players who had previously played for Fiji, Manu Samoa or Tonga. This was intended to ensure that the Pacific Islanders team serves to develop players for the island nations only. Notably, two players on the 2004 tour, Sione Lauaki and Sitiveni Sivivatu (the latter the Islanders' leading scorer on that tour), went on to play for the All Blacks. [ [http://www.planet-rugby.com/News/story_52751.shtml "Pacific Islanders' choice restricted"] , "Planet-Rugby.com", 31 July 2006.] During that tour, they were the last opponents of nrut|Ireland at their traditional home of Lansdowne Road before its redevelopment into a modern all-seater stadium. The Pacific Islanders were beaten in all three matches.

Future status

There was much speculation about what role the Islanders would play in international rugby. Many hoped that they would be admitted into an expanded Super 12 competition or perhaps the Tri Nations. These hopes were dashed for the time being when the organisers of the Super 12 and the Tri Nations, SANZAR, opted to expand the Super 14 by adding one team each in Australia and South Africa and add an extra round of fixtures to the Tri Nations without adding any new teams. As of 2006, it appears they will be like the British and Irish Lions and tour every two years. Touring once every four years would probably not generate enough revenue to transform the finances of Pacific rugby; the 2004 tour did make a modest profit, despite initial reports that the PIRA lost money.

A Super 14 spot would provide a career path for island players so they wouldn't have to take their skills abroad. However there would need to be a clear differential between that team and one that plays international tests. It would also have to be clear that their status is lower than that of the three national sides.

If they joined the Tri Nations this might prevent the occasional player playing for New Zealand or Australia, but it might also prevent players playing tests for the three nations and their profiles and fixtures would decrease even further. If they played in the World Cup, the coaches of Fiji, Samoa and Tonga would become little more than provincial coaches.

The Pacific Islanders will play their next fixture against England at Twickenham on the 8th of November, they will then play France in France druing the 2008 Autumn Internationals

2008 squad

Results

2004

rugbybox
date = 2004-06-20
home = QLDru | score = 29 – 48
away = PIru | homescore = Tries: Junior Pelesasa (2), Peter Hynes, Mafi Kefu Con: Marshall Milroy (3) Pen: Marshall Milroy | awayscore = Tries: Sitiveni Sivivatu (3), Seremaia Bai, Sireli Bobo, Lome Fa'atau, Norman Ligairi, Taufa'ao Filise Con: Seremaia Bai (4) | stadium = Ballymore, Brisbane
attendance = 3,000
referee = George Ayoub flagicon|Australia
----rugbybox
date = 2004-06-25
home = NSWru | score = 21 – 68
away = PIru | homescore = Tries: Morgan Turinui, Tim McGann, Milton Thaiday Con: Matthew Burke (3) | awayscore = Tries: Sitiveni Sivivatu (2), Taufa'ao Filise (2), Seilala Mapusua (2), Seremaia Bai, Sisa Koyamaibole, Soane Tonga'uiha, Lome Fa'atau Con: Seremaia Bai (9) | stadium = Aussie Stadium, Sydney
attendance = 8,005
referee = Greg Hinton flagicon|Australia
----rugbybox
date = 2004-07-03
home = ru-rt|AUS | score = 29 – 14
away = PIru
homescore = Tries: Stirling Mortlock (2), Matt Giteau (2), Brendan Cannon Con: Joe Roff, Matthew Burke | awayscore = Tries: Sione Lauaki, Sireli Bobo Con: Seremaia Bai (2) | stadium = Adelaide Oval, Adelaide
attendance = 19,266
referee = André Watson flagicon|South Africa
----rugbybox
date = 2004-07-10
home = ru-rt|NZL | score = 41 – 26
away = PIru | homescore = Tries: Joe Rokocoko (2), Justin Marshall, Rico Gear, Kees Meeuws, Tana Umaga Con: Daniel Carter (4) Pen: Daniel Carter | awayscore = Tries: Sitiveni Sivivatu (2), Seru Rabeni, Sione Lauaki Con: Seremaia Bai (3) | stadium = North Harbour Stadium, Albany
attendance = 22,000
referee = Stuart Dickinson flagicon|Australia
----rugbybox
date = 2004-07-17
home = ru-rt|RSA | score = 38 – 24
away = PIru | homescore = Tries: Breyton Paulse (2), Jacques Cronjé, Jean de Villiers Con: Percy Montgomery (3) Pen: Percy Montgomery (4) | awayscore = Tries: Sitiveni Sivivatu (2), Sione Lauaki, Sireli Bobo Con: Seru Rabeni (2) | stadium = Express Advocate Stadium, Gosford, Australia
attendance = 15,732
referee = Scott Young flagicon|Australia

2006

rugbybox
date = 2006-11-11
home = ru-rt|WAL | score = 38–20
away = PIru | homescore = Tries: Mark Jones, James Hook, Kevin Morgan, Lee Byrne, Ceri Sweeney Con: Ceri Sweeney (5) Pen: Ceri Sweeney| awayscore = Tries: Justin Va'a, Seilala Mapasua, Kameli Ratuvou Con: Tusi Pisi Pen: Tusi Pisi | stadium = Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
attendance = 50,769
referee = Wayne Barnes flagicon|England
----rugbybox
date = 2006-11-18
home = ru-rt|SCO | score = 34 – 22
away = PIru | homescore = Tries:Di Rollo, Callam, Brown, Henderson Con: Paterson (4) Drop goal: Di Rollo Pen: Paterson | awayscore = Tries: Caucaunibuca, Ratuvou 2,Leo Con: Pisi (1) | stadium = Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh
attendance = 19,055
referee = Bryce Lawrence flagicon|New Zealand
----rugbybox
date = 2006-11-26
home = ru-rt|IRE | score = 61 – 17
away = PIru | homescore = Tries:Hickie,Wallace,O'Kelly, Easterby(2),Horgan, Best,O'Connell Con: Wallace (6) Pen: Wallace (3)| awayscore = Tries: Rabeni, Fa'atau, Pisi Con: Pisi (1) | stadium = Lansdowne Road, Dublin
attendance = 43,000
referee = Christophe Berdos flagicon|France

See also

* Fiji national team
* Manu Samoa
* Tonga national team
* Pacific Islands Rugby Alliance
* Niue national rugby union team
* Cook Islands national rugby union team
* Super 14

References

External links

* [http://www.pacificislanders.co.nz/ Pacific Islanders Rugby Team Supporters site]
* [http://www.manusamoa.com.ws/ Manu Samoa home page]
* [http://www.fijirugbyunion.com Fiji rugby official site]
* [http://www.planet-tonga.com/ikaletahi/index.php Tongan official site]
* [http://www.teivovo.com/pacific_rugby/Islanders/index_2004.html Pacific Islander news from Teivovo.com]
* [http://www.irb.com/EN/News/Features/061115+SL+PIRA.htm Pat Lam: Coaching the United Nations]
* [http://www.manusamoa.net Manu Samoa Rugby Team Supporters site]


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