Australia’s FxPro Super Rugby development squads have hit the ground running in the opening round of the Pacific Rugby Cup, with two of the three local sides claiming victory over the weekend.
Both the Junior Waratahs and Queensland A sides claimed bonus-point victories over their opponents, while the Brumby Runners had a tougher time, forced to settle for a bonus-point loss.
The opening round saw the Junior Waratahs claim a convincing 27-11 win over visiting Tonga A, while Queensland A secured a 36-24 victory over the Fiji Warriors.
The Brumby Runners will look to rebound from their 30-24 loss to Samoa A, when they kick-off the second round of matches tomorrow evening against the Fiji Warriors at Seiffert Oval in Queanbeyan.
The Junior Waratahs will return to action on Thursday 1 March against Samoa A at Sydney’s Forshaw Rugby Park at 3pm, while Queensland A will also play on Thursday against Tonga A at Brisbane’s Ballymore Stadium with the game kicking-off at 6pm.
Samoa A lead the competition among core teams, with four points from their win over the Brumby Runners, while the Junior Waratahs and Queensland A sit tied at the top of the Australian Conference with five points apiece.
The Australian leg features a total three rounds, with three games played each round, in the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales and Queensland.
The schedule of games is specifically timed to offer FxPro Super Rugby squads valuable match practice at the start of the competition for all of their players. It also offers each team the valuable opportunity to recruit the best National Academy players, for the three-game program, to test their ability at an international level.
The Pacific Rugby Cup runs in Australia until March 5, before the three Pacific Island sides travel to New Zealand for the second stage of the competition from March 9 to 19. The series will conclude later this year with the three Pacific Island sides facing off against each other back in the Pacific Islands.
The competition is also seen as a key development tool for the IRB, as it looks to promote the development of young Rugby players in the Pacific Islands offering them the opportunity to test themselves against the rising stars of the game in Australia and New Zealand.