Fiji to host Tonga

ThE Oceania Rugby Under-20 Trophy returns to Fiji next week for two days after Fiji Rugby Union was announced yesterday as hosts of this year’s tournament.

The tournament will be held at Churchill Park in Lautoka. With two teams confirmed, the tournament will consist of two matches on November 28 and December 2.

Fiji and Tonga will be competing for the Oceania Rugby qualification for the 2018 World Rugby U20 Trophy and the 2018 Oceania Rugby U20 Championship joining Samoa Rugby Union, which was relegated from the World Rugby U20 Championship in 2017. Fiji will be looking to replicate its results from 2016 which saw the team compete at the 2017 World Rugby U20 Trophy in August in Uruguay.

“Tournaments such as the Oceania Rugby U20 Trophy are a vital component to the international player pathway for unions in our region,” Richard Sapias, Oceania Rugby president said.

“International stage grade tournaments assist bridge the transition from school and provincial competitions to national representation.”

Fiji Airways Flying Fijians coach John McKee said: “I am looking forward to seeing the Fiji U20 team’s performance in the two games in the Oceania U20 Trophy because it is the pathway for the winner to compete in the 2018 Junior World Trophy.

“The U20 team is a very important team for Fiji Rugby in our elite player development pathway from schoolboys to higher levels of national team representation in the Fiji Warriors and Flying Fijians.”

His Ikale Tahi counterpart, Toutai Kefu acknowledged the importance of the tournament.

* Tickets are available at the Lautoka City Council and the Fiji Rugby Union in Suva.

* $5 entry (Children U12 free. Entry to wooden grandstand and embankment)

* Match schedule: November 28 – Fiji v Tonga – 5pm

December 2: Fiji v Tonga – 5pm

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