19 Apr 2016

Sport: Fiji and Samoa U20s begin promotion push

1:07 pm on 19 April 2016

Fiji and Samoa begin their bid to return to the top tier of age grade rugby today at the Under 20 Trophy in Zimbabwe.

Last year was the first time Fiji had competed outside of the elite Under 20 competition, while Samoa were relegated from Under 20 Championship.

The two pool winners will advance directly to the grand final and Samoa coach Ramsey Tomokino said that means they will probably have to win every game as there will be no second chances.

"Obviously we want to play a running game and I like a free-flowing game, as do the players and hopefully the conditions in Zimbabwe will allow us to do that. We've just got to be ruthless and take points when we need to take points...you've just got to go game by game and get your prep right, get your recovery right. Our analysis has to be spot on of the opposition teams as well...obviously we're pooled with Fiji and Uruguay and Zimbabwe, who are the host nation, so I imagine there's going to be no easy games."

The captains pose with the World Rugby Under 20 Trophy.

The captains pose with the World Rugby Under 20 Trophy. Photo: Zimbabwe Rugby Union

The eight countries also have to contend with a series of rule changes, including a new scrum enagement process and point-scoring system.

Tries will be increased in value to six, penalties will be reduced to two points and penalty tries will be worth eight-points, with no conversion necessary.

Ramsey Tomokino said the changes will provide a unique challenge.

"It certainly makes you have a think about how you play the game in terms of if you've got pressured do you take points or if you're in a commanding position where you're dominating can you just go for the tries? The flip-side of that too is if you're on receiving end of tries is - being eight points down and after two tries sixteen points down - it's a mental thing as well so you need to be strong-minded, get yourself back into the game."

Fiji take on Uruguay in Tuesday's opening round of matches before Samoa face off against hosts Zimbabwe.