20 Dec 2011

Sport: IRB says it has plan for tier three countries

9:54 am on 20 December 2011

The International Rugby Board says it's working hard to advance the cause of tier three nations in what is a tight economic environment.

Some lower ranked nations in the Pacific say entry fees into sevens and fifteens events are eating up most of their funding from the sports governing body, leaving them with little else to try and grow the game.

The IRB's Regional General Manager for Oceania, Will Glenwright, says they already heavily subsidise entry fees into Oceania tournaments.

He says the IRB will continue to invest as much as it can in the Oceania region.

"I think our partnership with ARFU - the Asian Rugby Football Union - is very important and I believe there is scope for an expansion of the Asia Pacific Sevens Series to include both men and women so that we've got genuine international competition pathways for all our member unions, not just the big five but Cook Islands, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Solomons, Niue and the like."