Pacific Nations Cup

Reality check for Fiji as Aussies win

Numerous handling errors and general play issues contributed to Fiji’s loss – a side that was given a reality check by Australia A, who played basic structured rugby to disrupt the Fijian side who had made 11 changes.

The Aussies were a totally different side bringing the game to Fiji who were at times under pressure.

Fiji who had looked to back its big performance last week against Tonga got off to a perfect start drawing first blood through the boot of Teti Tela.

Tonga to improve performance in next PNC game against Samoa

The side went down in an excruciating 36-0 loss to Fiji, last week.

Coach Toutai Kefu said it was not the result they wanted but they are still learning on getting each player combination right.

Kefu added it was just not their day and they will need to dig deeper in order to get the results needed next week.

“There’s a lot of connections needed for the backs and the forwards, we’re still trying to implement a game plan so turnover today was extremely poor, I think there was over 20 turnovers for the whole game, 12 in the first half so from that perspective more”

Flying Fijians Captain to team up with a debutant in midfield

The 32 year old will lead the side in his 20th outing for Fiji and he’s excited about his partnership with young Fijian Drua star Kalaveti Ravouvou.

Nayacalevu said Ravouvou deserves his starting role and believes the rookie will bring something new.

”As you can see in the Drua what he can do, we’ve trained together through the weeks and things are going smoothly, hope to see some exciting things to happen this weekend”.

Another midfield veteran, Levani Botia, believes Ravouvou has a promising future in the number 12 jersey.

Tonga names 11 debutants in line-up to face Fiji

Amongst these players are rugby stars, Israel Folau, Malakai Fekitoa and Charles Piutau.

The other players that will be making their debut are Veikoso Poloniati, William Havili, Anzelo Tu’itavuki, Sosefo Apikotoa, Sione Havili, Lotu Inisi, Manu Paea and Tima Fainga’anuku.

Tonga will play against Fiji at 3pm (Fiji Time) on Saturday at the ANZ Stadium in Suva.

Tonga Squad:

Wallaby superstar Folau to make Tonga debut

Flying wing Folau played 73 Tests for Australia before being sacked in 2019 for posting homophobic messages on his social media account.

He will line up alongside former All Blacks Charles Piutau and Malakai Fekitoa.

Two others switching are scrum-half Augustine Pulu and Fiji centre Seta Tamanivalu, who both played a handful of Tests for the All Blacks.

They have all taken advantage of new eligibility rules which allow players to represent a country where they have a birthright, providing they haven't played Test rugby for three years.

Pacific Nations Cup tickets now on sale

The tickets will be sold at the Fiji Sports Council in Suva. 

For the Platinum area, tickets are FJD$50 and FJD$10 for children under 12.

Tickets for the Gold area are FJD$35 and FJD$10 for children under 12.

Tickets for the concrete area are FJD$25 and FJD$5 for children under 12.

Grass sitting area will be FJD$10 per ticket and FJD$2 for children under 12. 

In the first game, Australia A takes on Samoa at 1pm (Fiji Time).

Hosts the Flying Fijians will meet Tonga at 3:30pm (Fiji Time).

Both games will be held at the ANZ Stadium in Suva.

Former All Black Charles Piutau excited about upcoming match against Fiji

Piutau is excited about the showdown against their Pacific Island brothers, who displayed their best performance at their first ever Super Rugby.

“The style of rugby they play is exciting and some of the tries they scored are just amazing. And as a fan watching it, I still remember the 100m try they scored just goes to show the talent they have.”

Having played a few seasons at the Bristol Bears with Semi Radradra, Piutau is expecting more players with similar qualities from the Flying Fijians. 

Fijian Drua and Moana Pasifika's success benefits national teams

With the objective of increasing the competitiveness of the international game, World Rugby has part-funded the franchises to provide an impactful environment and pathway that will ultimately benefit Fiji, Samoa and Tonga on the biggest stage – Rugby World Cup.

The selection of 43 players for the Pacific Nations Cup from Moana Pasifika and Fijian Drua is an important step in that journey, providing each union with the benefit of access to a group of players performing in an environment geared towards achieving success at international level.

Former All Blacks, Seta Tamanivalu named in Flying Fijians squad

Tamanivalu is the first Fijian player to join the Flying Fijians following the change in World Rugby eligibility rules in November 2021.

The squad also includes 16 players from the Fijian Drua, who will feature alongside other Super Rugby Pacific and Europe-based stars for their country.

“It’s very exciting and a real honour for us to present the first Flying Fijians squad of 2022 to the Fijian people”, Flying Fijians  Coach, Vern Cotter said.

July schedule confirmed for Pacific rugby nations

The Flying Fijians will now play two tests against the All Blacks on 10 and 17 July after their home series against Ireland was cancelled because of Covid-19.

Fiji have played New Zealand nine previous occasions, including five tests, the last of which was a 60-14 defeat in Dunedin a decade ago.

As previously confirmed by RNZ Pacific, the Rugby World Cup 2023 qualifier between Samoa and Tonga will be played in New Zealand over two legs.