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First Test played at 7am in Apia

Josefa Makaba
Saturday, May 25, 2013

THE Fiji rugby fifteens team played its first international against Western Samoa in Apia, Samoa, on 18 August 1924.

Fiji's 20-man squad came exclusively from the five registered native clubs of the time.

The match was played at 7am to allow the Samoans time to get to work afterwards and was played on a pitch with a large tree on the halfway line.

At that time the Fijians wore black and won 6-0 despite playing barefoot.

The return match was won 9-3 by Samoa to draw the series.

The first-ever Fiji Test team continued their overseas adventure with a nine-match tour of Tonga.

Though the Fijians lost the first Test in Nuku'alofa 6-9, they were not to lose again, taking the second Test 14-3 then drawing the decider 0-0.

They won all six of the matches against non-test opposition.

Auckland University College was the first overseas side to visit Fiji in 1926.

The Kiwi students played the Fiji Europeans and finished the three-match series with a win, loss and draw.

Rugby was first played in Fiji by European and Fijian soldiers of the Native Constabulary in Ba, in 1884.