17 Feb 2011

New Pacific Rugby Cup will expose players to Australasia's up and comers

11:02 am on 17 February 2011

The new-look IRB Pacific Rugby Cup kicks off this weekend and will see Fiji, Samoa, and Tonga play development Super Rugby sides from Australia and New Zealand for the first time ever.

The tournament starts with three rounds of matches in Australia where the Reds Academy, the Junior Waratahs, and the Brumby Runners will face each of the Pacific Islands teams.

Fiji Warriors, Samoa A, and Tonga A then head to New Zealand for matches against the Crusaders, Chiefs, and Hurricanes development 15s.

Samoa A coach Fepulea'i Selefuti Patu, says this year's schedule is gruelling but a great opportunity for his players to get exposure to high-level rugby.

"It's a really gruelling tournament because between games there are less days for us to recover but the other teams they have a lot of players to select their teams from but this is our best chance we ever had to step up a bit and expose ourselves and also to learn from these top teams from New Zealand and Australia"

Fepulea'i Selefuti Patu says the competition will give players plenty of opportunity to push selection for the Pacific Nations Cup, and World Cup later this year.