Pacific nations united in revenue sharing push

Fiji and Tonga have joined Samoa in calling for a revamp of international rugby's revenue sharing agreement.

The Flying Fijians faced Ireland in front of 51,000 fans in Dublin earlier this month while more than 80,000 squeezed into Twickenham at the weekend to watch Manu Samoa take on England.

But the Pacific nations did not receive a cent from gate receipts and under World Rugby rules host unions are under no obligation to share match-day revenues with visiting sides.

Twelve months ago the Fiji Rugby Union received a "goodwill payment" of almost $US100,000 from their English counterparts after playing in front of a packed crowd at Twickenham, which helped to pay for a pre-tour training camp.

England's Rugby Football Union agreed to pay Samoa the same amount earlier this month after the SRU revealed its perilous financial state.

Flying Fijians coach John McKee said even a little bit of money would make a big difference for Pacific and other tier two nations.

"I wouldn't expect it to be a massive revenue sharing, in terms of expecting a really big percentage of the gate but 100,00 Euros to us would go a long long way in helping us just to make our tour better," he said.

"It would help us in our pre-camp probably (to) do things a little bit better and there's a lot of things around the edges that we do on a shoestring where really in a high-performance sports environment, with a few more dollars to spend, we could do things a little bit better."

Pacific nations do get to keep any profits from home test matches but 'Ikale Tahi coach Toutai Kefu said the cost of hosting foreign teams tends to negate any possibility of a windfall.

"We still get some core grants from World Rugby that help...we do make some income from those (home tests) but probably not enough to be really conformable but it's a start for us anyway."

Georgia and Romania are scheduled to play tests in Fiji and Tonga in next year's mid-year test window, while Tonga will also host Fiji at Teufaiva Stadium.

Meanwhile Manu Samoa will play home and away against a yet-to-be-determined European qualifier for a place in the 2019 Rugby World Cup.



Photo: AFP Fiji wing Nemani Nadolo is tackled during the test against Ireland.