Pacific rugby players

Pacific rugby stars call for eligibility overhaul

That's the message from two Pacific Island rugby stars who know a thing or two about being proud to represent their dual heritage.

Tim Nanai-Williams grew up in South Auckland dreaming of one day pulling on the All Blacks jersey. He got closer than most, turning out for the New Zealand Sevens team in 2008 and 2009.

But the former Chiefs utility back was able to switch his international allegiance in 2015 via the "Olympic loophole", after to make himself eligible for the Manu Samoa fifteen-a-side team.

NZ Rugby to appoint first Pasifika engagement manager

The role is the first of its kind for the governing body and partly came out of the Respect and Responsibility Review in 2017, which highlighted issues around player welfare and participation numbers in the game.

Head of Respect and Inclusion at NZR, Karen Skinner, said a dedicated role focused on the Pasifika rugby community was a significant step.

"A lot of people have said we should have had this a long time ago and it has been a long time coming but we're really excited to see this role finally established...

World Rugby rules discriminate against Pacific players - Impey

Speaking to First Up, Impey shared his frustrations at what he said was unfair treatment of Pacific nations at the Rugby World Cup in Japan.

He took particular issue with the eligibility rules for tier two nations.

"I think the gap has got wider between tier one and tier two [nations]. I think World Rugby has got a lot to answer for in this space.

In particular I believe there should be eligibility rules which allow players who've played for tier one countries, such as the All Blacks, to go back after say a year and play for their countries of origin.

Pacific rugby legends return to fight NCDs


The clash is a curtain-raiser to the All Blacks - Tonga test match but for the players, the exhibition game at Waikato Stadium goes far beyond the rugby field.

Seventy percent of deaths in the Pacific are caused by non-communicable diseases (NCDs) like diabetes and other obesity-related afflictions.

In New Zealand, the rate within Maori and Pasifika communities is three times higher than other ethnic groups.

Saturday's 'Battle of the Stars' is designed to highlight the players' call to address these health issues.

World Rugby's 'massive turnaround' encouraging

World Rugby boss Brett Gosper has told AFP there is "no question of closing out" Pacific teams from the competition and participation would be judged by on-field success alone, while chairman Bill Beaumont has said no decisions have been made.

That comes after revelations the league would include no Pacific teams, with no promotion-relegation.

Pacific Rugby Players CEO Aayden Clarke said it's positive to hear the latest comments.

"It is a massive turnaround, which is really positive.

Pacific players in limbo after Global Rapid Rugby cancels debut season

The brainchild of billionaire Western Force owner Andrew Forrest, eight teams from Australia, Asia and the Pacific Islands were originally on board to contest a four-month season in 2019, including entries representing Fiji and Samoa.

Pacific Rugby Players CEO Aayden Clarke said that number had dropped to six, after two teams pulled out.

He was in contact with Global Rapid Rugby officials only a few days ago, to discuss player welfare issues for the impending campaign, but said yesterday it was revealed the competition would not go ahead at all.

Piutau advocates for Pacific rugby players in Europe

The 17-test All Black is currently plying his trade for Irish side Ulster and is the first Pro12 representative on the board, providing a voice for players of Pacific heritage in Ireland, Scotland, Wales & Italy.

The 25-year-old said he was excited about the prospect of helping improve conditions for Pacific Islanders and their families abroad.

PRPW looks to ease pressures on Pacific players

Isireli Temo was a prop for 3rd division club Tarbes who had just returned to the country last month after a holiday back in Fiji to visit his family.

Reports say upon his return, Temo had a few injury issues and became increasingly despondent.

Daniel Leo from Pacific Rugby Players Welfare said there has been a lack of support for Pacific players plying their trade overseas.

The PRPW is conducting cultural diversity programmes with UK clubs to aid the integration of Pacific men into the community.