4 Oct 2011

Sport: IRB says Pacific investment is paying off

11:25 am on 4 October 2011

The International Rugby Board says it's investment in the Pacific Islands is paying dividends, despite the region having no teams in this weekends World Cup quarter finals.

Samoa ended their tournament with a gritty 13-5 defeat to World Champions South Africa, and also ran Wales close last month.

Tonga upset France in Wellington with only Fiji failing to impress in New Zealand.

The IRB's Regional General Manager for Oceania, William Glenwright, says performances at the World Cup shows the IRB's investment in the Pacific is working.

"We've worked pretty hard in that area. We've got the Pacific Nations Cup - the standard of the Pacific Nations Cup is continues to improve. We've got tier one unions starting to tour the Pacific Islands - Scotland will be touring the Pacific Islands next year in June and we've locked down a schedule in the November window for tests between top unions in the Pacific Islands and other smaller unions. It's not an easy problem to overcome but we are working towards a solution and I'm quite happy with what we've been able to do."

The IRB is due to begin it's review of the Pacific Island countries world cup performance later next month.