We all know about the Six Nations Rugby Tournament which is a yearly event between the six major rugby union nations of Europe. There is a similar kind of a tournament for the rugby union nations of the Pacific Rim. Although these six nations are not as strong as those six European nations, but yet to strengthen the second level of the Rugby the patrons of rugby, the International Rugby Board or the IRB organizes this tournament every year since 2006. So let us know more about the IRB Pacific Nations Cup in this article.
All You Want to Know about IRB Pacific Nations Cup
History of IRB Pacific Nations Cup
The International Rugby Board or the IRB funded the Pacific Nations Cup as a strategic investment to support the lesser rugby union countries in the Pacific in 2005 with US$ 50 million. It was a three year plan by the IRB to start with and Fiji, Japan, Samoa, Tonga teams were included along with the Junior All Blacks from New Zealand was also invited to compete. It was first called as the IRB Pacific 5 Nations Tournament. The aim was to give a regular stage for the smaller pacific teams at a high level where they can compete. In 2007 the Australian A side joined in the fray and that helped the second tier teams to prepare in a better way to compete in the 2007 IRB Rugby World Cup. Following year Australia A withdrew from the competition sighting economic problems and New Zealand Maori team replaced the Junior All Blacks team. From 2010 to 2012 only four teams participated in the tournament and they were Japan, Fiji, Samoa and Tonga.
In 2013 the IRB announced that they are going to include USA and Canada Rugby teams also who are definitely from the other side of the Pacific Ocean and thus it has now become a six nations Pacific tournament. The IRB Pacific Nations Cup takes place every year in the month of June.
Participating Teams in the IRB Pacific Nations Cup
Winners of the IRB Pacific Nations Cup
- 2006 – Junior All Blacks
- 2007 – Junior All Blacks
- 2008 – New Zealand Maori team
- 2009 – Junior All Blacks
- 2010 – Samoa
- 2011 – Japan
- 2012 – Samoa
- 2013 – Fiji
- 2014 – Samoa