- Six Rugby World Cup 2019 teams to compete in the World Rugby Pacific Nations Cup
- Matches played across three rounds from 27 July to 10 August in Japan, Samoa, Fiji and USA
- Rugby World Cup venues Kamaishi and Hanazono to host games as part of readiness programme
- Reigning champions Fiji seeking fifth consecutive title
The stage is set for a thrilling World Rugby Pacific Nations Cup 2019, with the tournament taking on added significance two months out from Rugby World Cup 2019.
This year’s edition promises to be one of the most competitive and fascinating to date with all six participating teams making their final Rugby World Cup 2019 preparations.
The tournament will be contested by Japan, Canada, Samoa, Tonga, Fiji and USA over three rounds on 27 July, 3 August and 9-10 August 2019, offering teams a vital chance to fine tune their squads and scope out their opposition.
With Rugby World Cup fever sweeping the nation and awareness at an all-time high, Japan will host two Pacific Nations Cup matches as part of the country’s Rugby World Cup readiness programme.
The matches in host cities Kamaishi and Hanazono - both of which are sell-outs - will be used for operational testing to ensure the country is primed and ready for the Rugby World Cup kick off on 20 September.
Key Rugby World Cup tournament time operational protocols will be put in place for testing in and around the two match venues. This includes venue security and processes around fan flow and stadia entry, ticket scanning, fixed seating allocation and Rugby World Cup match time operational management protocols. The Host Cities will also take the opportunity to stress test their tournament time transportation plans.
Additional Pacific Nations Cup 2019 matches will take place in Samoa, Fiji and USA. Now in its 14th year the Pacific Nations Cup Pacific Nations Cup is a key component of World Rugby’s mission to strengthen and grow the global rugby family, offering nations greater access to competitive test matches with a focus on development in the pacific region.
Reigning champions Fiji, who have won the past four Pacific Nations Cups will be looking to add a fifth consecutive title to their trophy room as the tournament’s highest ranked team but will face stiff competition from fellow Pacific Islands Tonga and Samoa, both with a point to prove as they build towards Rugby World Cup. Meanwhile, Japan, Canada and USA, who rejoin the tournament for the first time since 2015, will want to put their finishing touches on squad preparations, using the tournament as a springboard for Rugby World Cup later in the year.
World Rugby Chairman, Sir Bill Beaumont, said: “With all roads leading to Rugby World Cup 2019, this year’s Pacific Nations Cup will be fascinating. The tournament, taking place over three rounds in Japan, Samoa, Fiji and USA, will offer a tantalising taste of what is to come at Rugby World Cup and I cannot wait to watch the action unfold. I would like to extend my thanks to each of the host unions.
“We are especially pleased to stage two sell-out matches in our Rugby World Cup host cities Kamaishi and Hanazono. With more than 80 per cent of available Rugby World Cup tickets sold following unprecedented demand from fans in over 170 countries, and more than 400,000 international visitors expected to descend on Japan for Asia’s first-ever Rugby World Cup, the country is gripped by Rugby World Cup fever. The Pacific Nations Cup will be the perfect curtain raiser to show the country’s readiness and build even more excitement ahead of the big event.”
Japan Rugby World Cup 2019 Organising Committee CEO Akira Shimazu said: “With these Pacific Nations Cup matches being completely sold out, both the players on the field and the fans in the stadium can expect an atmosphere anticipating what they will experience during Rugby World Cup. At the same time, it provides us as the Rugby World Cup 2019 Organising Committee with an ideal opportunity to test many of our key tournament time operational procedures.
“While fans enjoy the on-field action and the pre and post-match atmosphere in Host Cities and stadium precincts, our teams will be working to ensure that processes around ticketing, security and match management are all working to plan and to Rugby World Cup standard.”
Via: World Rugby