allblacks.com 17.Mar.2013Getty Images
Japan has joined the expanded Pacific Rugby Cup, which will see defending Cup champions the Fiji Warriors looking to keep their title. Both Fiji Warriors and Samoa A rounded out their Australian tournament last week with victories and will be looking to continue that form against New Zealand Investec Super Rugby development squads.
The New Zealand action gets under way tomorrow with the Highlanders Development team taking on Fiji Warriors at Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin, the Blues Development team hosts Samoa A in Auckland and Hurricanes Development take on Tonga A in Wellington.
This year, Heartland provinces will also get a taste of Pacific Rugby Cup action with matches scheduled for Rugby Park in Te Kuiti, Spriggens Park in Wanganui, Albert Park in Te Awamutu and Community Trust Domain in Levin.
New Zealand Rugby General Manager Professional Neil Sorensen said New Zealand proudly plays a part in developing Pacific Rugby.
“We have a huge connection with our Pacific rugby neighbours, and we know their teams always get up for matches against any New Zealand team so the contest is valuable.
“What’s great is that these matches are being played in some very accessible venues and I’d encourage anyone to get down and enjoy some very exciting emerging talent from both inside New Zealand from our neighbouring Pacific Rugby nations,” he said.
IRB Pacific Rugby Cup 2013, New Zealand tournament match schedule:
Monday 18 March
Highlanders Development v Fiji Warriors, Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin, 5.30pm
Blues Development v Samoa A, Waitemata RFC, Waitemata, 6.30pm
Hurricanes Development vTonga A, Hutt Rec, Lower Hutt, 6.00pm
Saturday 23 March
Blues Development v Fiji Warriors, Waitemata RFC, Waitemata, 2.30pm
Crusaders Development v Samoa A, Christchurch Park, Christchurch, 2.00pm
Chiefs Development v Tonga A, Rugby Park, Te Kuiti 2.45pm
Thursday 28 March
Blues Development v Junior Japan, Bell Park, Pakuranga RFC, Pakuranga, 6.30pm
Hurricanes Development v Fiji Warriors, Spriggens Park, Wanganui , 4.00pm
Chiefs Development v Samoa A, Albert Park, Te Awamutu, 5.15pm
Crusaders Development v Tonga A, Linwood RFC, Christchurch, 5.00pm
Tuesday 2 April
Highlanders Development v Junior Japan, Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin, 4.30pm
Sunday 7 April
Hurricanes Development v Junior Japan, Community Trust Domain, Levin, 2.00pm