FxPro Super Rugby development squads prepare for Pacific Rugby Cup

by RUGBY.com.au staff

Three of Australia's FxPro Super Rugby sides are preparing their A Teams sides for a significant schedule of international Rugby, as the second annual Pacific Rugby Cup gets underway this weekend.

The University of Canberra Brumbies, St.George Queensland Reds and HSBC Waratahs will all field development teams in the competition, which in Australia will see the Brumby Runners, Junior Waratahs and Queensland A take on the current Cup Holders Fiji Warriors, Samoa A and Tonga A.

The competition, which runs in Australia from February 24 to March 5, will then see the 3 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 games played between the three Pacific Islands sides in the Pacific Islands.

The Australian leg will feature nine games and offer both contracted players from Australian FxPro Super Rugby Squads along with each teams Extended Player Squads the opportunity to test their skills in the cauldron of international representative Rugby.

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 3 game program, to test their ability at an international level.

While the Brumby Runners have already named their squad for a Friday afternoon clash with Samoa A at Canberra Stadium, the Junior Waratahs and Queensland A sides will be named Friday afternoon, ahead of Sunday afternoon fixtures against Tonga A and the Fiji Warriors respectively.

For ARU High Performance Manager David Nucifora, the Pacific Rugby Cup is a strong opportunity for the second tier of Australian FxPro Super Rugby players.

"The Pacific Rugby Cup offers these players the chance to gain invaluable international playing experience against what will be strong opposition in the Island nations' representative sides," Nucifora said.

"This competition bodes well for us, as it provides all involved with further development opportunities for their players.

“This series offers valuable match practice at a critical time of the year for our FxPro Super Rugby teams.

“It's also a great opportunity for our talented players at the National Academy level to be given an opportunity to further develop their games and to work with the respective Australian FxPro Super Rugby teams during the program.

"Thanks must go to the IRB for its continued support of this competition, as their funding and commitment to the development of the game in the Pacific Islands region has ensured this series remains on the international Rugby calendar for another year."

The competition is seen as a key development tool for the IRB, as it looks to promote the development of young Rugby players in the Pacific Islands by offering them the opportunity to test themselves against the rising stars of the game in Australia and New Zealand.

The Pacific Rugby Cup commences February 24 when the three Pacific Islands sides make their way to Australia for the first round of matches.

Pacific Rugby Cup - Australia Series





Round 1

February 24, 2012

Brumby Runners vs Samoa A

Canberra Stadium, Canberra


February 26, 2012

Junior Waratahs vs Tonga A

Foreshaw Rugby Park, Sydney


February 26, 2012

Queensland A vs Fiji Warriors

Ballymore Stadium, Brisbane


Round 2

February 29, 2012

Brumby Runners vs Fiji Warriors

Seiffert Oval, Queanbeyan


March 1, 2012

Junior Waratahs vs Samoa A

Foreshaw Rugby Park, Sydney


March 1, 2012

Queensland A vs Tonga A

Ballymore Stadium, Brisbane


Round 3

March 4, 2012

Brumby Runners vs Tonga A

Griffith Oval, Griffith


March 5, 2012

Junior Waratahs vs Fiji Warriors

Foreshaw Rugby Park, Sydney


March 5, 2012

Queensland A vs Samoa A

Ballymore Stadium, Brisbane