Samoa

Next stage unveiled in battle for Oceania club supremacy

The revised competition format, which was adapted in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic to reduce travel requirements on teams, is split into two phases.

Stage one will determine which clubs contest stage two, which will be an eight-team centralised finals tournament scheduled for August this year.

Fiji, New Caledonia, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu will stage home and away playoffs – involving the champion and runner up from their respective national league – through June, from which each winner will secure qualification to the finals tournament.

More than 1000 athletes to compete in Pacific Mini Games

Super typhoons, the withdrawal of government support and Covid-19 have disrupted the event which will now take place from June 17-25. It was originally due to be held in May/June 2021.

The hosts and Fiji lead the delegations with 125 athletes apiece.

Solomon Islands has 117 athletes while New Caledonia has 109. The smallest delegations are Norfolk Island and American Samoa with three each.

The 20 Pacific nations and territories attending and their number of athletes are:

PNG play Tahiti and returning Vanuatu in OFC football cup

It's Vanuatu's first appearance in the competition since 2010.

In Group A, Tonga have been drawn with the Cook Islands and Samoa.

Hosts Fiji are in Group C where they face New Caledonia and Solomon Islands.

The nine-team competition is being held from July 13-30.

The competition winner then goes into a ten-team inter-continental tournament to find three qualifiers for the Women's World Cup finals being hosted by New Zealand and Australia in 2023.

New Zealand, as co-hosts, are exempt from the qualifying tournament.

OFC women’s national teams in action this month

Head coach Jitka Klimková has recalled the likes of Grace Jale, Anna Green and Ally Green to the squad for the series.

Meanwhile, Fiji are also off to Australia. Head coach Lisa Cole will hope fixtures against first-time World Cup qualifiers the Philippines on April 7 and 11 in Sydney can inspire her side to future success.

Fiji, runners-up at the OFC Women’s Nations Cup 2018, will know a repeat of four years ago will give them a chance to enter the inter-confederation play-offs next February, with three World Cup spots up for grabs.

Rugby eligibility rule change makes Tonga the 'biggest winners'

A former Manu Samoa international says a change to World Rugby's eligibility rules will be beneficial to Pacific nations such as Tonga.

Pandemic presents big challenges for Pacific seasonal workers

New Zealand has a new one-way travel bubble with Pacific island countries such as Samoa, Vanuatu and Tonga.

Vaccinated RSE workers from these countries can come to New Zealand without self-isolating or taking Covid-19 tests on arrival, after the one-way quarantine-free travel took effect last week.

Up to 5,000 workers are needed across the horticulture and viticulture industries during peak summer season in December and January.

The usual supply of backpackers to New Zealand's recognised seasonal workers scheme remains cut off due to Covid-19 border restrictions.

National 7s competitions resume in Samoa and Fiji

Samoa's National Sevens Series kicked off this morning at Marist St Joseph's Stadium in Lotopa.

There are 24 men's teams and four women's teams competing.

The men will each play two games today, with the eight pool winners advancing to the Cup quarter-finals.

The women's teams will join the competition tomorrow and play three games each in a round-robin format, before the men's semis and finals.

Meanwhile, the fourth leg of Fiji's Super Sevens Series has kicked off in Suva.

Calls for a crackdown on labour hire companies 'poaching' Pacific workers

In the last 18 months, around 12,000 workers have come into Australia from countries such as Vanuatu and Samoa.

But how many have stayed in the jobs, they were contracted to do?

ABC Rural has been told more than 1,000 of these workers have absconded, with many poached by labour hire companies that are not licensed to do so.

What's going wrong?

Speaking to RN, Richard Shannon from Growcom said across Australia, farmers were reporting seasonal workers suddenly leaving their jobs.

Bookings trickle in for quarantine-free flights from Samoa, Tonga, Tokelau, Vanuatu

One-way travel with low-risk Pacific countries resumes on November 8 from the three islands and Tokelau, Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins announced last week.

Travellers from those nations will be able to bypass spending 14 days at a managed isolation and quarantine facility.

All travellers, New Zealand citizens, and NZ resident or visa critical purpose visa holders, would need to have stayed 14 days in their countries before departure and aren’t required to provide a pre-departure test.

They must be fully vaccinated, unless they are New Zealand citizens.

New Zealand expands one-way quarantine-free travel with Samoa, Tonga, Vanuatu and Tokelau

The change will see travellers from those countries and Tokelau who have the right to reside permanently in New Zealand and people covered by border exceptions, from 8 November.

“Travellers must be fully vaccinated, unless they are New Zealand citizens. RSE workers are currently required to have at least one dose, and will be required to be fully vaccinated from 1 January 2022,” said Covid-19 response Minister Chris Hipkins today.