Everything you need to know about the World Rugby Pacific Nations Cup 2022
World Rugby Pacific Nations Cup returns to Fiji this weekend for the first time since 2019.
Tonga, Samoa, and a powerful Australia A team will all challenge Fiji for their sixth Pacific Nations Cup trophy next month.
We give you the background on what could be an exciting Pacific Nations Cup 2022, which kicks off in less than a week in Suva.
Pacific nations cup
The 15th edition of the Pacific Nations Cup, a regional men’s international tournament, will take place in July.
Only the 2013 Pacific Nations Cup was missed by Samoa, who has appeared in 13 of the 14 previous editions of the competition. Fiji and Tonga have competed in every tournament to date.
For the first time, the three Pacific Island nations were joined by Japan and the Junior All Blacks for the event in 2006.
A team from New Zealand won the inaugural Pacific Nations Cup, and the Junior All Blacks repeated as champions the following year and in 2009.
The Mori of New Zealand took the championship in 2008 in place of the Junior All Blacks.
Australia A has competed in the Pacific Nations Cup twice before, in 2007 and 2008, coming in second place each time. The team will return to the competition next month for the third time.
While Canada and the United States have each competed in the Pacific Nations Cup four times, Japan has appeared in all ten of the tournaments and the most recent one in 2019. Georgia finished third in the 2018 competition.
There have been five Pacific Nations Cup winners in the competition’s history, including a four-year streak from 2015 to 2018.
The Junior All Blacks won the competition three times, in 2006, 2007, and 2009, claiming the title.
Both Japan and Samoa can lay claim to three world championships. As the champions of their respective conferences, both countries were awarded the 2014 Pacific Nations Cup.
Another team that has won the Pacific Nations Cup is the New Zealand Mori, who triumphed at the tournament in 2008.
These two teams, who have finished second in prior tournaments, are hoping to win it all this year for the first time.
WHEN AND WHERE
The Pacific Nations Cup will be held in Fiji in 2022, with matches taking place at ANZ Stadium in Suva and Churchill Park in Lautoka over three match days.
On Saturday, 2 July, at 13:00 local time (GMT+12), Australia A will face Samoa in the opening match of the round-robin event. Fiji will subsequently play Tonga at 15:30, the hosts of the tournament.
It will be seven days before Churchill Park hosts Samoa versus Tonga and Fiji versus Australia A in the second round of matches.
Tonga will meet Australia A at 12 noon local time (GMT+12) on Saturday, July 16 in Lautoka for the tournament’s last two matches. The Pacific Nations Cup 2022 will come to an end when the hosts take against Samoa at 15:30.
All matches of the Pacific Nations Cup 2022 will be streamed live by World Rugby. If you live outside of Australia, Fiji, or New Zealand, you’ll be able to watch all six games for free.
For a win, teams will receive four points, and for a draw, they will receive two. Teams who score four or more tries or lose by seven points or less are also eligible for bonus points.
The winning team will be determined by the total number of competition points accumulated throughout the course of the three-match days.
But Tonga’s Asia/Pacific 1 playoff match on July 23 will not be directly related to the event.
The ‘Ikale Tahi will play the winner of the Asia Rugby Championship one week after the completion of the Pacific Nations Cup 2022.
South Africa, Ireland, Scotland, and Europe 2 will join the winner of the match in France’s Pool B.
Fiji and Samoa will benefit from the event as they prepare for the RWC 2023, while the players representing Australia A will be hoping to impress Dave Rennie and get a place in his squad.