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Saturday 15th July 2017


TONGA have qualified for Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan after finishing second to Fiji in the combined 2016-17 World Rugby Pacific Nations Cup standings.

With Samoa failing to secure a bonus point in a 16-38 defeat to Fiji in the final match in Apia on Saturday, Tonga qualify for rugby’s showcase event as Oceania two and complete the Pool C line-up, joining England, France, Argentina and USA.

Samoa now face the prospect of a play-off against the winner of Czech Republic or Portugal versus the second-place team in the 2016-17 Rugby Europe Championship (excluding Georgia, who have already qualified) for a place in Pool A at Japan 2019.

Fiji, who last week booked their place at Rugby World Cup 2019, produced a fine performance to comfortably win a highly-entertaining match in Apia despite training 16-14 at the interval.

Henry Seniloli’s hat-trick, combined with tries from Jale Vatatuba and Apisalome Ratuniyarawa, secured a win that ensured that Fiji retained the World Rugby Pacific Nations Cup, a title they have held since 2015.

David Lemi, making his 50th test appearance for Samoa, was the home side’s only try scorer with a scintillating first-half finish.

Samoa15 Tim Nanai-Williams 14 Alapati Leiua 13 Kieron Fonotia 12 Reynold Lee-Lo 11 DAVID LEMI (C) 10 Tusi Pisi 9 Kahn Fotuali'i 8 Faifili Levave 7 Jack Lam 6 Piula Fa'asalele 5 Faatiga Lemalu 4 Chris Vui 3 Paul Alo-Emile 2 Elia Elia 1 Jordan Lay BENCH: 16 Seilala Lam 17 Nephi Leatigaga 18 James Lay 19 Galu Taufale 20 Vavae Tuilagi 21 Auvasa Faleali’i 22 D'Angelo Leuila 23 Ahsee Tuala

SCORERS T: Lemi C: Pisi P: Pisi (3)

Fiji15 Timoci Nagusa 14 Vereniki Goneva 13 Asaeli Tikoirotuma 12 Jale Vatubua 11 Patrick Osborne 10 Ben Volavola 9 Henry Seniloli 8 Nemani Nagusa 7 AKAPUSI QERA (C) 6 Dominiko Waqaniburotu 5 Leone Nakarawa 4 Tevita Cavubati 3 Manasa Saulo 2 Tuapati Talemaitoga 1 Campese Ma’afu BENCH: 16 Sunia Koto 17 Joeli Veitayaki 18 Kalivati Tawake 19 Api Ratuniyarawa 20 Viliame Mata 21 Frank Lomani 22 Eroni Vasiteri 23 Josua Tuisova

SCORERS T: Seniloli (3), Vatubua, Ratuniyarawa C: Volavola (5) P: Volavola

Referee: Paul Williams




Saturday 8th July 2017


FIJI has qualified for Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan.

With results across the 2016 and 2017 World Rugby Pacific Nations Cup editions doubling as qualification for Japan 2019, Fiji defeated Tonga 14-10 in Nuku'alofa to secure an unassailable lead in the standings.

Fiji qualify as Oceania 1 and will join Australia, Wales, Georgia and either Canada or Uruguay in Pool D at RWC 2019.

The Oceania 2 qualifier will be confirmed next weekend after the final match of the World Rugby Pacific Nations Cup 2017 between Fiji and Samoa in Apia.

The 3rd place team will face a play-off against a European team to keep their Japan 2019 hopes alive.

Tonga15 Atieli Pakalani 14 David Halaifonua 13 Siale Piutau 12 Tevita Taufui 11 Cooper Vuna 10 Latiume Fosita 9 Tane Takulua 8 Valentino Mapapalangi 7 Jack Ram 6 Dan Faleafa 5 Steve Mafi 4 Leva Fifita 3 Siua Halanukonuka 2 Paula Ngauamo 1 Siegfried Fisi’ihoi BENCH: 16 Suliasi Taufalele 17 Latu Talakai 18 Ben Tameifuna 19 Sione Tau 20 Michael Faleafa 21 Leon Fukofuka 22 Kali Hala 23  Kiti Taimani

SCORERS T: Fisi'ihoi C: Takulua P: Takulua

Fiji15 Timoci Nagusa 14 Josua Tuisova 13 Asaeli Tikoirotuma 12 Jale Vatubua 11 Patrick Osborne 10 Ben Volavola 9 Serupepeli Vularika 8 Nemani Nagusa 7 AKAPUSI QERA (C) 6 Dominiko Waqaniburotu 5 Leone Nakarawa 4 Tevita Cavubati 3 Manasa Saulo 2 Sunia Koto 1 Campese Ma'afu BENCH: 16 Tuapati Talemaitoga 17 Peni Ravai 18 Kalivati Tawake 19 Api Ratuniyarawa 20 Viliame Mata 21 Henry Seniloli 22 Vereniki Goneva 23 Benito Masilevu

SCORERS T: Nakarawa P: Volavola (3)

Referee: Nick Briant




Sunday 2nd July 2017


THE USA Eagles spoiled the away team’s Canada Day celebrations in sunny San Diego with an emphatic second-half performance that left the Canucks with nowhere to hide at the Torero Stadium. It may have been 1 July and the 150th anniversary of modern-day Canada, but the Eagles were in no mood to be generous to their northern cousins, running in eight tries to one and reaching the finishing post at a canter, 52-16.

It is the biggest margin of victory by USA over Canada in their long, 58-game rivalry and means that the Eagles qualify for Japan as Americas 1. They join Pool C and so will face England, France, Argentina and the Oceania 2 qualifier.

The first leg in Hamilton, Ontario, was unable to separate these two fierce rivals as this great North American derby ended in a 28-28 draw for only the second time in history. So they came to Southern California knowing it was a simple equation – the winner would qualify for RWC 2019 and the loser would face a tricky two-leg play-off against Uruguay for the right to qualify as Americas 2.

Leading 19-9 at the break, in front of typically vociferous American crowd, the USA got the job done with a brace from both No.8 Cam Dolan and hooker Joe Taufete’e, in addition to tires from scrum-half Nate Augspurger, prop Dino Waldren and lock David Tameilau, the Eagles releasing the bench to put a visibly tired Canada to the sword.

USA15 Madison Hughes 14 Mike Te’o 13 Bryce Campbell 12 Marcel Brache 11 Ryan Matyas 10 AJ MacGinty 9 Nate Augspurger 8 Cam Dolan 7 Tony Lamborn 6 TODD CLEVER (C) 5 Nick Civetta 4 Nate Brakeley 3 Chris Baumann 2 James Hilterbrand 1 Tony Purpura BENCH: 16 Joe Taufete’e 17 Ben Tarr 18 Dino Waldren 19 David Tameilau 20 John Quill 21 Andrew Durutalo 22 Shaun Davies 23 Will Magie

SCORERS T: Augspurger, Brakeley, Dolan (2), Tameilau, Taufete'e (2), Waldren C: MacGinty (6) Yellow Card Lamborn

Canada15 Ciaran Hearn 14 Andre Coe 13 Nick Blevins 12 Connor Braid 11 Dan Moor 10 Shane O’Leary 9 Gordon McRorie 8 Tyler Ardron 7 Matt Heaton 6 Admir Cejvanovic 5 Evan Olmstead 4 BRETT BEUKEBOOM (C) 3 Jake Ilnicki 2 Ray Barkwill 1 Djustice Sears-Duru BENCH: 16 Benoit Piffero 17 Anthony Luca 18 Matt Tierney 19 Kyle Baillie 20 Aaron Carpenter 21 Andrew Ferguson 22 Giuseppe Du Toit 23 Sean Duke

SCORERS T: Cejvanovic C: McRorie P: McRorie (3) Yellow Card Ardron

Referee: Andrew Brace




Wednesday 10th May 2017





Wednesday 15th March 2017


AHEAD of the final round of the RBS 6 Nations this Saturday, it could be a nervy time for Scotland, France, Wales and Ireland with plenty of World Rugby Rankings movements possible.

These tests are the last that could affect the rankings ahead of the Rugby World Cup 2019 pool draw, which takes place in Kyoto, Japan, on 10 May, with the draw bands determined by how the automatically qualified teams finish on the ladder.

As it currently stands, the draw bands are:
Band 1: New Zealand, England, Australia, Ireland
Band 2: Scotland, Wales, South Africa, France
Band 3: Argentina, Japan, Georgia, Italy

These are the 12 teams that qualified based on their top-three finish in pool play during Rugby World Cup 2015. The other eight teams will be determined by the RWC 2019 qualification process.

Ireland are the only team in the top band at risk of dropping out this weekend. Should Joe Schmidt’s side lose to England in Dublin, Wales will replace them in fourth position provided they beat France in Paris.

Meanwhile, Argentina still have a chance of squeezing into the top eight and will do so if Scotland lose by more than 15 points to Italy or if France lose by more than 15 points to Wales.

World Rugby Rankings 13/03/17




Friday 3rd March 2017


WORLD RUGBY has undertaken its third official review of Rugby World Cup 2019™ hosting preparations during a busy week of meetings in Tokyo.

RWC 2019 Kyoto Japan

The delegation, led by CEO Brett Gosper, reiterated that 2017 will be critical to the ultimate success of Asia’s first Rugby World Cup.

With tournament preparations moving from the planning to operational delivery phase, World Rugby outlined that the eyes of the world will be on Japan this year as key milestones take place that will bring the tournament alive for the teams, the fans and the Japanese public:

• Rugby World Cup 2019 Pool Draw in Kyoto, 10 May
• Launch of the IMPACT Beyond 2019 legacy programme
• Selection of the team camps that will offer a world class experience for players and teams
• Finalisation of a match schedule that optimises tournament engagement
• Announcement of the ticketing programme details

Building on the record-breaking success of the England 2015 event, Japan 2019 aims to deliver an event that will connect and engage a nation and the world through sport and friendship.

Twelve venues the length and breadth of the nation and a family of engaged and excited host cities and team camps will provide the framework for an unprecedented nationwide celebration of rugby, friendship and Japanese culture. Everyone will be welcomed with a strong Nippon.

Rugby World Cup 2019 will be the biggest sporting event of the decade, and with 75 per cent of the population living within an hour of a match venue, there is an opportunity for everyone in Japan to experience and be a part of one of the most popular sporting events on the planet.

Optimising participant and fan-base growth in Japan is central to the organising committee and Japan Rugby Football Union’s tournament objectives. More than 60,000 fans have signed-up to join the Supporters’ Club, which launched in September 2016 and provides an advance opportunity to access ticketing information.

And with rugby participation growing at record pace in Asia, the Japan Rugby Football Union, Asia Rugby and World Rugby will launch its IMPACT Beyond programme in May, outlining a joint pledge to attract, inspire and retain one million new players across the world’s most populous region.




Saturday 11th February 2017


THE road to Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan starts today for five teams as the new-look Rugby Europe Championship gets underway in Belgium, Spain and Germany with experts anticipating an exceptionally competitive campaign.

Recent RWC qualification has recently been fought by the powerhouses of Georgia, Romania and Russia, but with Georgia having already secured their place at Japan 2015 through and exceptional RWC 2015 campaign and both Spain and Germany on the rise having defeated Uruguay in November, the door for the European place appears wide open.

Results in the Rugby Europe Championship, formerly known as the European Nations Cup Division 1A, over this year and next – other than those against Georgia – will count towards the European qualification process, with the best-placed side other than Georgia booking their spot at Asia's first Rugby World Cup as Europe 1. 

All results, however, count when it comes to deciding the Rugby Europe Championship winners and now a try bonus point will be awarded to teams scoring three tries or more than the opposition rather than the four tries or more model used previously.

For the first time, a play-off will now take place between the bottom-placed side in the Rugby Europe Championship and the winners of the Rugby Europe Trophy (formerly the European Nations Cup Division 1B) to decide which team plays in the Championship the following year.




Monday 26th September 2016





Tuesday 20th September 2016





Monday 19th September 2016





Tuesday 10th March 2015





Monday 2nd March 2015





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