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IRB Pacific Rugby CupAustralia’s best emerging talent will compete against national representative teams from Fiji, Japan, Samoa, Tonga and Argentina in the 2014 IRB Pacific Rugby Cup (PRC).

The competition was established in 2006 to help develop rugby in Pacific nations, but for the first time in 2014, it will include the Argentina Pampas and will be held entirely in Australia.

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The tournament is organised by the IRB in partnership with Australian Rugby Union and will feature Australian Super Rugby ‘A’ sides made up of development squad members as well as players from junior pathways including State Under-20 teams.

Waratahs coach Michael Cheika said it is a valuable platform for players who are looking to make the step to Super Rugby and beyond.

“This tournament provides a great avenue for current and aspiring Waratahs players to stake their claim for a place in the New South Wales team in the Super Rugby competition. There is no better place for players to show their skills than in the match environment,” Cheika said.

“The timing is perfect as it parallels the start of our Super Rugby season and sits just before the start of our Shute Shield competition for the Sydney clubs so all players involved are preparing in a competitive match arena as opposed to training.”

Australian Rugby Union General Manager Development Pathways Ben Whitaker said involving Australian teams in the tournament is aimed at improving the pathway to develop more elite players across the country.

“This tournament will help bridge the gap between domestic and international rugby for our best locally-based players who aren’t required at a Super Rugby level,” Whitaker said.

“It also helps us forge strong relationships with developing rugby nations and it forms an important step in the pathway players will take from the grassroots right through to elite and national representation. Ultimately, we’d love to see a player compete in this year’s Pacific Rugby Cup represent Australia at next year’s Rugby World Cup.

“We encourage rugby fans to get out and support all teams competing in the competition, with free entry at all fixtures at matches to be held in Sydney, Canberra, Brisbane, Perth and the Gold Coast.”

Fiji is the reigning Pacific Rugby Cup champion, and is the only team to have successfully defended the title, having won the PRC every year since 2009.

Teams will be split into two pools and will play each team in their pool once, with the final to be played by the top-placed team from each pool.

The 2014 IRB Pacific Rugby Cup starts on Friday 21 February with a match between Western Force A and Queensland Reds A in Perth. The final will be held in Sydney on Sunday 23 March.

2 Responses to IRB Pacific Rugby Cup: Emerging Aussies & Pampas to also participate

  • 1

    So this is why the Pampas are not playing Vodacom Cup, has there been a general souring of relations between Argentina and South Africa?

  • 2

    Not sure about all the administrative, logistical etc details of this competition now, but my initial reaction to reading this was ‘this feels wrong’. Is Australia helping the IRB out in its development and support of ‘Pacific rugby’ here or are the IRB subsidizing the growth of the game in Australia who are already a top tier nation and first world country. Sure, by basing it entirely in Australia is maybe giving a nice opportunity for the players but is it not taking the game away from local supporters who would have gone down to watch their teams? The cost of travelling to Australia to support the respective countries must be beyond most grass roots supporters in the region so how does this help development at lower levels. Or maybe did they find the competition in its previous format was dying and is this a new shining rescue package? There are possibly large expat communities from the various countries who may get interested and go to watch the games of their former countries but again who benefits from this, the smaller nations or Australia by potentially increasing their player pool in numbers. This one needs to be looked into, think our Scrumdown is the ideal bloke for that.


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