Samoa will compete in the World Rugby U20 Trophy for the fifth time in Scotland later this year after beating Tonga in their one-off qualification match at the Oceania Rugby U20 Challenger in North Harbour, New Zealand.

Following a 40-14 win over their Pacific rivals, the two-time winners of the U20 Trophy (2011 and 2016) will have an opportunity to claim a third title in Edinburgh in July.

Five teams had already booked their place at the tournament prior to this weekend, including hosts Scotland, Japan – the team relegated from the World Rugby U20 Championship 2023 – and regional qualifiers Uruguay (South America), the Netherlands (Europe) and Hong Kong China (Asia).

Samoa's qualification completes the Pool A line-up and they can now look forward to games against Scotland and the two Asian qualifiers in Japan and Hong Kong China.

“It was a pretty tough game against Tonga. It was our last chance to get a spot in Scotland. It really means a lot to the boys," said Samoa's Ravuama Seruvakula.

“Our mindset was to get the line speed up and to pressure the Tongan team. The Tongan team is a very good team.” 

Now that the Oceania qualifier is decided, there are two remaining spots left to be filled in Pool B with details of the Africa qualification tournament, the U20 Barthés Trophy, and the North America qualifier between USA and Canada to be confirmed soon.

Fiji make it two wins from two

In the first match of the second round of the Oceania Rugby U20 Challenge on Saturday, Fiji beat Moana Pasifika U20s 48-19, to continue their dominance of the competition. 

Fiji, who beat Tonga 39-25 in round one, surged into a 38-0 half-time lead, before Moana Pasifika fought back to 'win' the second half.

"We achieved our goal; we achieved our target. Hats off to Moana Pasifika they definitely gave us a good battle out there," said Fiji captain Nalani May.
"I reckon they gave us a bit of a scare in the second half, but we definitely recovered better."

Neither team are involved in the qualification process for the World Rugby U20 Trophy 2024 as Fiji will be competing in the top-level World Rugby U20 Championship in South Africa in June/July, while as a non-national team Moana Pasifika are not eligible.

Fiji are the only team to have won both of their opening games as Samoa fell to a 27-20 defeat to Moana Pasifika in round one.

The final round of the Oceania Rugby U20 Challenger 2024 takes place on Wednesday 6 March with Tonga up against Moana Pasifika in the first game and unbeaten Fiji up against Samoa in the second.

All games in the Oceania Rugby Challenge 2024 are available to watch live or in replay for free on RugbyPass TV.