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World Rugby sets dates for Pacific battle

Moiz Munif
Wednesday, February 14, 2018

THE fixtures for the World Rugby Pacific Challenge to be played in Fiji next month has been released by World Rugby.

Fiji Warriors who have won the title for a record seven times will battle against Junior Japan, Samoa and Tonga A.

Fiji face Samoa A in their opening match on March 9 at the ANZ Stadium in Suva. This will be followed by Junior Japan on March 13 and lastly Tonga A on March 17.

Competition will be played over three rounds and the team with the highest points on the points table will be declared the 2018 champion.

The competition will be an under-23 level competition but five senior players are permitted.

A report on World Rugby stated it has increased its investment to more than £20.3 million ($F50.6m) in Pacific Islands rugby within the 2016-19 investment cycle, an increase of 19 per cent on the previous cycle.

World Rugby head of competitions and performance Mark Egan said

"World Rugby is committed to providing a meaningful high-performance pathway for tier two nations and the Pacific Challenge is key to that objective."

"Not only does it deliver exposure to international rugby for emerging Test players, but it plays an important role in enabling unions to keep promising talent within their own structures, and in Fiji's case, combines with the Fijian Drua's participation in the Australian National Rugby Championship to achieve that objective," he said.

Fiji Warriors fixtures :

* Friday March 9, 2018, 5pm - Fiji Warriors v Samoa A, ANZ Stadium , Suva

* Tuesday March 13, 2018: 5pm Fiji Warriors v Junior Japan, ANZ Stadium, Suva

n Saturday March 17, 2018: 3.30pm Fiji v Tonga, ANZ Stadium, Suva

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