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Pacific challenge

Pravin Narain
Saturday, February 10, 2018

TEAMS competing in the World Rugby Pacific Challenge competition are allowed to include five senior players in the team for the event to be played next month in Suva.

World Rugby tournament director Michael Groom said expectations were high from the teams.

"The strategy is to try to keep the best local talents in the Pacific Islands and direct them into the national teams. The teams have been competing for the last few years with Junior Japan, Tonga A, Samoa A and Fiji Warriors," Groom said at a press conference yesterday.

"There are 28 players in the squad and the core group of players is under-23 and teams are allowed to have five players above the age of 23. The competition is for under-23 players and if the teams wish then they can have five over 23 years of age players in the teams.

"There would be an opportunity to showcase the best local talents from the Pacific Islands and Japan is using the tournament as the development tournament for them."

The competition will be played at the ANZ Stadium on March 9, 13 and 17.

"It has become an elite development tournament to direct the best local talents to the national teams. We have teams from Japan, Tonga, Samoa and Fiji competing.

"The new format is based on the under-23 competition which provides the core group of under-23 players, providing them with the platform to take them from domestic to the international competitions."








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