Japan to host 2011 Pacific Nations Cup

The IRB have announced that Japan will host the 2011 Pacific Nations Cup which will be a boost for their preparations to host Rugby World Cup 2019.

The sixth IRB Pacific Nations Cup tournament will have an extra dimension as Fiji, Japan, Samoa and Tonga look to gain advantage ahead of Rugby World Cup 2011 in New Zealand.

Samoa will defend the title they won for the first time on home soil last year as the single-host format continues.


All six IRB Pacific Nations Cup 2011 matches will be played at the Prince Chichibu Memorial Rugby Ground in Tokyo between July 2-13, providing fans with three double-header match days and the ability to see some of the world’s most exciting players in action before they head to New Zealand.

“Rugby in Asia is continuing to go from strength to strength and the IRB is delighted to award this major international tournament to Japan and a Union that has been at the very heart of this growth,” said IRB Chairman Bernard Lapasset.

Tonga will play Fiji on the opening day while hosts Japan take on champions Samoa. Both corresponding fixtures in last year’s tournament produced thrilling matches as Fiji defeated Tonga by just three points – one of half the tournament matches to be decided by a margin of three points or less – and the Brave Blossoms secured a 31-23 victory over the eventual winners.

For the JRFU, the announcement adds to the expanding portfolio of international Rugby tournaments awarded to Japan after they played host to a record-breaking IRB Junior World Championship in 2009.

“It is an honour to solo host the very important and prestigious IRB Pacific Nations Cup and we are grateful to the IRB for deciding to hold it next July in Tokyo. We look forward to welcoming the other participating Unions, Fiji, Samoa and Tonga and we would also love to see Rugby fans from all the corners of the globe,” said Vice President and Chairman of the Japan Rugby Football Union Nobby Mashimo.

“We are very confident that it will be a great success and that the players, teams, management and spectators will thoroughly enjoy their stay in Tokyo where tradition and modernism so vividly co-exist.”

“The sixth IRB Pacific Nations Cup is an ideal occasion to showcase the potential of the Rugby market in Japan, the enthusiasm of Japanese rugby fans and the ability of the Brave Blossoms. The Tournament will give the world Rugby family a glimpse of what lies ahead for Rugby World Cup 2019. See you next July here in Tokyo!” added Mashimo.

The tournament will also throw up two tasters for Rugby World Cup 2011 where Tonga will meet Pool A rivals Japan on Wednesday, September 21 in Whangarei before Fiji take on Samoa in their Pool D clash on September 25 in Auckland.

All matches will be staged as double headers and played at night at Prince Chichibu Memorial Rugby Ground (PCMRG), Aoyama, Tokyo.

Round 1 – Saturday July 2, 2011
Tonga V Fiji PCMRG 5:10pm
Japan V Samoa PCMRG 7:10pm

Round 2 – Friday July 8, 2011
Tonga V Samoa PCMRG 5:10pm
Fiji V Japan PCMRG 7:10pm

Round 3 – Wednesday July 13, 2011
Samoa V Fiji PCMRG 5:10pm
Japan V Tonga PCMRG 7:10pm

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