5 Apr 2006

Tonga and Fiji Rugby Unions prepare for inaugural Pacific Cup

9:29 am on 5 April 2006

The Chief Executive of Tonga's rugby union Sakopu Lolohea is confident their two sides will be ready when the inaugural Pacific Cup kicks off on the 15th of April...the competition will involve six teams two each from Fiji, Tonga and Samoa, who will compete on a home and away basis ending with the final in May...Lolohea says their coaches will name the sides today, but he's quietly confident they are ready.

"They have all the preparation time given to them, so their main thing is to get the competition underway, and see how it all develops out, yes I think they have got some good preparation leading up to this competition."

Tonga's Tautahi Gold have an away game against Upolu Samoa, while, their Tau'uta Reds will host Savaii Samoa.

Meanwhile, Fiji's national coach, Wayne Pivac says they've named two coaches with international experience to take their two sides through the competition

Fiji Warriors will be coached by Ifereimi Tuaisi who is a local coach in Fiji, he'll be assisted by Manasi Bai, people in New Zealand will know as being an ex Highlander and Otago player, and the Barbarians are being coached by Ille Tabua, who played for Australia and Fiji, he's going to be assisted by a good friend of mine from Auckland, Illia Tetanavula.

And Fiji Barbarians and Fiji Warriors will play each other in the opening round.

Tonga and Fiji have had winning starts at the Under 19 Rugby World Cup tournament in the United Arab Emirates capital Dubai....Tonga beat Chile 24-6, with tries to Lepaola Taueli, Michael Uhatahi, Semisi Fotu, and Richard Havili, and Viliame Hakalo two conversions. And Fiji beat Italy 30-38.