Category Archives: Test

NZ to play RWC warm-up in Samoa

All Blacks Keven Mealamu is of Samoan heritage. Photo: Skysports

All Blacks Keven Mealamu is of Samoan heritage. Photo: Skysports

The All Blacks will play their first ever Test in the Pacific Islands next year against Samoa as part of their build-up to the World Cup, the New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU) said on Tuesday.

The long-awaited clash will take place in Apia on July 8, 2015.

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Filed under All Blacks, Focus on rwc, Manu Samoa, Test

Island teams get RWC dress rehearsals in November

Wales play Fiji in an earlier Test. Photo: Skysports

Wales play Fiji in an earlier Test. Photo: Skysports

Fiji, Samoa and Tonga will enjoy the best preparation yet for a World Cup after the November Tests were announced by the International Rugby Board.

With some compelling matches, November will see Tier Two teams clash with some of the top sides in world rugby ahead of next year’s RWC.

Fiji, who open Rugby World Cup 2015 against host country England, will benefit from a demanding schedule as they face 2015 pool opponents Wales in Cardiff on November 15, just one week after they play France in Paris.

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Filed under Fiji Rugby Union, Flying Fijians, International, IRB, November Tests, Test, Wales

Samoan PM confirms NZ Test in Apia

Samoa plays against Tonga in a PNC match last month in Apia. Photo: Moller Images

Samoa plays against Tonga in a PNC match last month in Apia. Photo: Moller Images

The Prime Minister of Samoa, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegao, has confirmed that the All Blacks will face Samoa in Apia on July 8, 2015.

The Samoan leader revealed the news on his weekly radio programme that a letter confirming the fixture had been received from the NZRU.

The fixture, to be played on a Wednesday, will be the first between the two countries ever to be played in Samoa.

Tuilaepa added that renovations would be carried out on Apia Park ahead of next year’s fixture, with help from overseas.

Given the timing of the fixture, it’s likely to be used as a warm-up match before the Rugby Championship begins, in a busy year before the Rugby World Cup in England.

  • Planet Rugby

 

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Filed under All Blacks, Broadcast, Manu Samoa, Test, Tonga

All Blacks to Samoa a dream come true for Williams

The All Blacks match against Samoa in Apia will be a dream come true for most Samoans. Photo: NZ Herald

The All Blacks match against Samoa in Apia will be a dream come true for most Samoans. Photo: NZ Herald

Rugby great Bryan Williams has lauded the long overdue decision to take the All Blacks to Samoa for an historic test in Apia which now seems likely to happen in July next year.

As reported by the Sunday Star-Times in May, an historic first All Blacks test in the islands had become an imminent reality after the governments of both countries had met formally on the issue. It’s understood political pressure from John Key’s office, on the back of a high-profile campaign by current affairs show Campbell Live, was the final impetus New Zealand Rugby needed.

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All Blacks to finally play in Samoa

All Blacks play Samoa in 2008. Photo: Sky Sports

All Blacks play Samoa in 2008. Photo: Sky Sports

New Zealand will play a Test match in Samoa for the first time next year in preparation for the Rugby World Cup, according to reports.

The NZ Herald have revealed that an agreement is in place to stage the fixture probably in late July next year.

The NZRU has come under huge pressure to play a Test for the first time in the Pacific Islands, after recent matches in Hong Kong and the upcoming clash against the USA in Chicago this November.

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Filed under All Blacks, Manu Samoa, Oceania, Test

Pisi’s boot sinks Fiji

Samoan flyhalf Tusi Pisi kicked six penalties for Samoa's 18-15 win over Fiji. Photo: Skysports

Samoan flyhalf Tusi Pisi kicked six penalties for Samoa’s 18-15 win over Fiji. Photo: Skysports

Samoa fly-half Tusi Pisi landed six penalties to give his side a slender 18-13 victory over Pacific Island rivals Fiji in Suva.

Pisi kicked five first-half penalties to give Samoa a 15-5 lead at halftime and added his sixth penalty, Samoa’s only points of the second half, to finish with six goals for seven attempts.

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Filed under Fiji Rugby Union, Flying Fijians, Manu Samoa, Pacific Islanders, Pacific Nations Cup, Test, Tonga

Island honour on line in ‘Battle of Pacific’

Samoa faces Fiji at the ANZ Stadium in Suva tomorrow. Photo: IRB

Samoa faces Fiji at the ANZ Stadium in Suva tomorrow. Photo: IRB

The final Pacific Conference match of Pacific Nations Cup 2014 will see Fiji host Samoa in Suva on Saturday 21 June to determine who will finish as the top side in the region.

Both teams have performed well in recent weeks with Fiji moving up one place in the IRB World Rankings to 10th following good wins over Italy (25-14) and Tonga (45-17) this month. Samoa, who drew against Tonga 18-all and defeated Italy 15-0 last week, also climbed up a spot to 9th.

The last time the two teams met was at PNC 2012 in Tokyo when Samoa edged Fiji 29-26. However, in 2011 in Suva, Fiji won 36-18. So it is all to play for and pride is at stake in what locals are describing as the ‘Battle of the Pacific.”

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Filed under Canada, Fiji Rugby Union, Flying Fijians, Focus on rwc, International, IRB, Manu Samoa, Pacific Islanders, Pacific Nations Cup, Test, Tonga, USA

Japan hires lineout coach

Former English skipper Steve Borthwick is new Japan lineout coach. Photo: Planet Rugby

Former English skipper Steve Borthwick is new Japan lineout coach. Photo: Planet Rugby

Japan coach Eddie Jones is eager for his side to peak at next year’s World Cup after an impressive nine-game winning streak for the national team.

Victories over Canada and the USA have made for an outstanding month for the Brave Blossoms, with this weekend seeing them face Italy in Tokyo.

And Jones believes it will be a difficult task to make it ten in a row when they face the Azzurri, a side they have struggled against in the past.

“It will be our toughest game of the year,” the former Australia head coach told reporters.

“Japan’s record against Italy is not impressive so it’s a fantastic opportunity to change Japanese rugby history.”

Japan’s recent success risks becoming a double-edged sword for Jones, however, as World Cup rivals devote more time to analysing how to avoid being upset in England next year.

“Of course we really want to peak at the World Cup,” said Jones.

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Filed under Italy, Japan, Pacific Nations Cup, Test, Tours

Japan victors over USA

Ayumu Goromaru booted 17 points for Japan. Photo: Getty Images

Ayumu Goromaru booted 17 points for Japan. Photo: Getty Images

Japan continue to dominate the emerging rugby nations after securing a 37-29 victory over the USA in the Pacific Nations Cup.

Full-back Ayumu Goromaru put in yet another impressive performance for the Brave Blossoms, kicking 17 points as Japan secured a bonus-point victory.

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Italy nilled by Samoa

Flyhalf Tusi Pisi kicked five penalties for Manu Samoa. Photo: Planet Rugby

Flyhalf Tusi Pisi kicked five penalties for Manu Samoa. Photo: Planet Rugby

Samoa fly-half Tusi Pisi kicked five penalties in his side’s 15-0 victory over struggling Italy at Apia Park on Saturday.

The result follows the Azzurri’s loss to Fiji last weekend to round off a poor year in Test rugby so far.

Pisi made them pay with five successful kicks as Samoa responded from their surprising 18-18 draw with Tonga last weekend.

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Filed under Italy, Manu Samoa, Pacific Islanders, Pacific Nations Cup, Test