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By ARU Media Unit
Australia’s Super Rugby development squads thrived in the first round of the Australian leg of the IRB Pacific Rugby Cup, with two domineering wins over the weekend.
The ACT XV opened the round with a commanding 58-19 win over Samoa A, notching nine tries against the visitors at Wanniassa on Friday night.
The Brumbies development squad was stacked with a number of Super Rugby capped players, including Robbie Coleman, Colby Faingaa, Fotu Auelua and Zack Holmes.
Coleman notched two tries, with Ian Prior, Jordan Rapana, Tom Cox, Etienne Oosthuizen, Auelua, Scott Sio and Tevita Kuridrani also crossing over. Holmes added five conversions and a penalty goal.
Saturday night saw Reds College XV defeat Tonga A 24-3 in wet and rainy conditions at Ballymore.
The Queensland Reds development side was bolstered by tries to Rod Davies, Sam Denny and Rex Tapuai. Jono Lance kicked three conversions and a penalty goal.
Reds College XV also featured 2012 Australian Under-20 representative Curtis Browning, who captained the Queensland side on the weekend, along with scrumhalf, Nigel Genia, younger brother of Qantas Wallabies scrumhalf Will Genia.
The other game scheduled for round one was to feature the HSBC Waratahs A Team hosting the Fiji Warriors in a curtain raiser at Allianz Stadium on Friday, but was called off due to inclement weather.
Round two of the IRB Pacific Rugby Cup kicks off Thursday when Australian Rugby Union’s Sydney-based Academy faces Samoa A at Eastwood’s TG Milner Oval at 4:00pm.
The ARU’s Brisbane-based Academy side will take on Fiji A at Ballymore at 6:00pm on Thursday.
The only Super Rugby development side featuring in round two is the ACT XV, which takes on Tonga A at Vikings Park in Canberra at 4:30pm Thursday.
The IRB Pacific Rugby Cup features development teams from Tonga, Fiji, Samoa, and for the first time this year Japan, who all play three matches in Australia before travelling to New Zealand to for a further three matches.
Each of the four teams play against Australian and New Zealand Super Rugby development teams and academies in the respective host countries.
The Australian leg of the tour features Australian Rugby Union National Academy sides, as well as development teams from all five Australian Super Rugby sides.
The three Pacific Island nations will head across the Tasman following their final games in Australia on Tuesday 12 March to take on the New Zealand Development sides.
Junior Japan will stay on in Australia to complete their tour and the Australian leg of the tournament with their final game scheduled for Saturday 23 March at Griffith Oval in Canberra when they take on the Sydney Academy.
The tournament sits one level below the Pacific Nations Cup and is a key Rugby development pathway for the participating nations. The tournament is funded by the IRB and is geared at exposing developing players to higher levels of competition each year.
The 2013 Pacific Rugby Cup champions will be determined by points accumulated across the tournaments in Australia and New Zealand, and the final round played prior to the northern hemisphere Test window.
2013 IRB Pacific Rugby Cup tournament schedule – Australian leg
HSBC Waratah A Team
Allianz Stadium, Sydney
ACT XV 58
Samoa A 19
Vikings Park, Canberra
Reds College XV 24
Tonga A 3
TG Milner Oval, Sydney
Emirates Western Force A
Harlequins RC, Melbourne
Reds College XV
Griffith Oval, Canberra
The RaboDirect Rebels have signed loosehead prop Jed Gillespie to their Extended Playing Squad (EPS) for the 2015 Asteron Life Super Rugby season.
Qantas Wallaby and three time Super Rugby Champion Radike Samo will join the RaboDirect Rebels for the 2015 Asteron Life Super Rugby season.
NSW Waratahs players Michael Hooper and Israel Folau were tonight announced as joint-winners of the Super Rugby Player of the Year Award.