Pacific Rugby Cup 2014 fixtures announced

(IRB) Monday 20 January 2014
 Pacific Rugby Cup 2014 fixtures announced
Fiji have enjoyed great success in the PRC and will be hoping for more of the same this year

The International Rugby Board has announced that the Argentina Pampas XV will participate in a new-look IRB Pacific Rugby Cup in 2014.

For the first time the tournament will be hosted entirely in Australia and will be organised by the IRB in partnership with the Australian Rugby Union.

The key development tournament,which is funded through the IRB's Strategic Investment Programme, kicks off on February 21 and features Super Rugby franchise development sides from Australia competing against development squads from Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, Japan and for the first time Argentina.

The main objective of this tournament, which runs until March 23, is to bridge the gap between domestic and international Rugby for the best locally-based players from the participating Unions. The Pampas XV, Argentina's main development squad formed from the Union's best domestic based players, will complete a strong line-up.

The Pacific Rugby Cup begins with a match in Perth between Force A and the Reds A. Matches will also be held in Sydney, Canberra, Brisbane and the Gold Coast with the final to be played on March 23 in Sydney.

"With Rugby World Cup 2015 on the horizon, exposure to this High Performance level of competition is invaluable for the Pacific Island Unions, Japan and Argentina," said IRB Head of Competitions and Performance Mark Egan.

"We are extremely grateful to the ARU for their cooperation and support in hosting the IRB Pacific Rugby Cup which is an important element of the IRB’s overall strategic investment competitions portfolio."

Fiji Warriors are the reigning champions and the only team to have successfully defended the title, having won the Pacific Rugby Cup every year since 2009.