Oceania Rugby and the Papua New Guinea Rugby Football Union (PNGRFU) have announced that Oceania Rugby Cup 2015 will be held from 22-30 August, 2015 in Port Moresby.
The four nations taking part in this month's tournament are: Solomon Islands, Tahiti, American Samoa and Papua New Guinea.
Oceania Rugby tournament director Wayne Schuster said: “The tournament is an excellent opportunity for the participating nations to further develop their rugby via this development pathway tournament and of course there is the opportunity for the teams to put national pride on the line. The matches will be played at the new Sir Hubert Murray Stadium in Konedobu.”
The four teams will play a round robin competition format over three rounds. The team with the highest number of competition points will be declared the winner.
The tournament kicks off on Saturday 22 August when Solomon Islands take on American Samoa at 13:00 local time followed by PNG up against Tahiti. The second round on Wednesday 26 August 26 will see Tahiti play Solomon Islands and PNG up against American Samoa. The third and final round on Sunday August 30 begins with American Samoa v Tahiti followed by PNG v Solomon Islands.
PNG to showcase new ground
PNGRU General Manager, Frank Genia is looking forward to the tournament. “The Oceania Rugby Cup is not only an excellent opportunity for PNG to develop and promote rugby at home, but is also a wonderful chance for PNG to showcase its new facilities and venues in Port Moresby. We would like to prove we are worthy hosts for future regional and international rugby tournaments,” said Genia, brother of Wallaby scrum-half Will Genia.
The Oceania Rugby Cup will feature the emerging American Samoa for the first time and they are expected to provide some tough competition. Solomon Islands will be looking to avenge their last loss in 2013 to arch rivals Papua New Guinea and may be the team to watch during the tournament, although Tahiti will have players from France in their line up and could be the surprise package.
PNG National coach for the Pukpuks (Crocodiles), Sydney Wesley says his team are well aware of the dangers the visiting teams will present.
“We know it is going to be a tough tournament, but we want to win the tournament for our people at home. To do that we will have to be on top of our game and play the way Pukpuks know best," Wesley said.
The Oceania Rugby Cup tournament has been held biennially in PNG since 2009. PNG won the tournament in 2009 and 2011 while Cook Islands beat the host nation in the last tournament held in 2013
Oceania Rugby Cup 2015 tournament schedule
Round 1 - Sat 22 Aug
Solomon Islands v American Samoa, Sir Hubert Murray Stadium, kick-off 13:00
Papua New Guinea v Tahiti, Sir Hubert Murray Stadium, kick-off 15:30
Round 2 - Weds 26 Aug
Tahiti v Solomon Islands,Sir Hubert Murray Stadium, kick-off 13:00
Papua New Guinea v American Samoa,Sir Hubert Murray Stadium, kickoff 15:30
Round 3 - Sun 30 Aug
American Samoa v Tahiti,Sir Hubert Murray Stadium, kick-off 13:00
Papua New Guinea v Solomon Islands,Sir Hubert Murray Stadium, kickoff 15:30
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