Fiji Rugby thrilled to host PNC
26 April, 2011
The Fiji Rugby Union is today thrilled to have been given the opportunity to host the IRB Pacific Nations Cup 2011. The invitation to do so came after initial hosts Japan, in consultation with the International Rugby Board (IRB), agreed to move all but one of the matches to Fiji following the devastating earthquake and tsunami that hit the north-east coast of Japan on March 11.
While official confirmation of the move to Fiji was announced by the IRB today, via a media release, work on hosting arrangements in Fiji have been going on for some time as Fiji Rugby Union (FRU) chief executive officer Keni Dakuidreketi revealed.
“After the enormity of the situation revealed itself in the days following the Japan earthquake and tsunami, the IRB, working in consultation with the Japan Rugby Union, approached the FRU to host the event,” Dakuidreketi said.
“Following dialogue with the Lautoka City Council and the Fiji Sports Council and checks with various accommodation providers we were happy to report back to the IRB that Fiji would be more than willing to host the prestigious event.”
The tournament will retain the same dates with the opening round taking place on July 2, the second round on July 9 and the final round of matches on July 13. The match between Japan and Samoa on July 2 will remain in Tokyo with the five remaining matches relocated to Lautoka and Suva.
“The invitation to host the tournament in Fiji is testament to the quality of people we have on the ground to organize such international events,” Dakuidreketi added.
An interesting prospect for local rugby fans will be the opportunity to see two Rugby World Cup (RWC) previews when Fiji plays Samoa and Tonga take on Japan. Japan and Tonga are pooled together in Group A at the RWC while Samoa and Fiji are both in Group D along with defending champions South Africa, Wales and Namibia.