With excitement building ahead of Rugby World Cup 2015, six of the teams who will be competing on rugby’s greatest stage have their eyes set on winning the World Rugby Pacific Nations Cup, which kicks off on 18 July, exactly two months before the showcase event.
Canada, Fiji, Japan, Samoa, Tonga and USA have been busy preparing for England 2015 and winning the World Rugby Pacific Nations Cup would be a huge boost ahead of the tournament.
The teams have been drawn in two pools of three with teams playing across the two pools in a round-robin competition, played in venues in Fiji, USA and Canada between 18 July and 3 August.
Adding extra excitement to the competition schedule, for the positional play-offs the teams will be ranked according to the number of competition points achieved across pool play. The finals will be played in Burnaby, Canada on 3 August.
With all the focus on team performance ahead of England 2015, there are some mouth-watering encounters that will provide a preview of what to expect in September and October as Rugby World Cup Pool B opponents USA and Samoa play on 18 July, while Japan, also in Pool B, tackle USA on 24 July.
World Rugby Chairman Bernard Lapasset said: “The World Rugby funded Pacific Nations Cup always delivers excitement and highly-competitive action, but this year’s edition takes on extra significance with Rugby World Cup 2015 just two months away.
“World Rugby is committed to supporting these teams on the road to England 2015 and it will be exciting to see where they are in their preparation as we look forward to what promises to be an exceptionally competitive Rugby World Cup.”
World Rugby will be providing a live stream of all Pacific Nations Cup matches (subject to territory-specific geo-blocking) so every try, pass, tackle and kick will be broadcast live with round-by-round highlights also available online and on the World Rugby TV programme.
World Rugby is committed to ensuring the best-possible level of support and preparation for all Tier 2 unions and is investing more than £53 million in the development of the unions since the last Rugby World Cup with the objective of closing the competition gap.
Tickets are still available for England 2015 by visiting www.rugbyworldcup.com/ticketing. You can also download the official Rugby World Cup 2015 App to keep up to date with all the latest news and plan your Rugby World Cup 2015 experience.