Oceania Rugby and the Papua New Guinea Rugby Football Union (PNGRFU) have announced that the 2015 Oceania Rugby Cup will be held from August 22 to August 30, 2015 in Port Moresby.
Oceania Rugby Tournament Director Wayne Schuster has confirmed that the four nations taking part in this month's tournament are Solomon Islands, Tahiti, American Samoa and Papua New Guinea
Schuster said, “The Tournament is an excellent opportunity for the participating nations to further develop their Rugby via this development pathway tournament and of course there is the opportunity for the teams to put national pride on the line. The matches will be played at the new Sir Hubert Murray Stadium in Konedobu.”
The four teams will play a round robin competition format over three rounds. The team with the highest number of competition points will be declared the winner.
"The tournament kicks off on Saturday August 22 when Solomon Islands take on American Samoa at 1300 local time followed by PNG up against Tahiti. The second round on Wednesday August 26 will see Tahiti play Solomon Islands and PNG play American Samoa.”
“The final round will be played on Sunday August 30 when American Samoa play Tahiti and PNG play Solomon Islands,” added Schuster.
PNGRU General Manager, Frank Genia is looking forward to the Tournament.
“The Oceania Rugby Cup is not only an excellent opportunity for PNG to develop and promote Rugby at home, but is also a wonderful chance for PNG to showcase its new facilities and venues in Port Moresby. We would like to prove we are worthy hosts for future regional and international Rugby Tournaments,” said Genia, brother of Wallaby scrum half Will Genia.
The Oceania Rugby Cup will feature the emerging American Samoa for the first time and it is expected to provide some tough competition. Solomon Islands will be looking to avenge its last loss in 2013 to arch rivals Papua New Guinea and may be the team to watch during the Tournament. Tahiti will have players from France in its line up and could be the surprise package of the Tournament.
PNG National coach for the Pukpuks (Crocodiles), Sydney Wesley says his team are well aware of the dangers the visiting teams will present.
“We know it is going to be a tough tournament, but we want to win the tournament for our people at home. To do that we will have to be on top of our game and play the way Pukpuks know best.”
The Oceania Rugby Cup tournament has been held biennially since 2009. PNG, which has hosted the tournament since then, won the tournament in 2009 and 2011 while Cook Islands beat PNG in the last tournament held in 2013