The Webb Ellis Cup has made the trip to Apia, Samoa, ahead of this weekend’s crucial Rugby World Cup 2019 qualifier between Samoa and Fiji.
The qualifier is the final match of the World Rugby Pacific Nations Cup 2017 tournament and will determine whether Tonga or Samoa secure the Oceania 2 qualification spot for Japan 2019. Samoa currently lie one point behind Tonga in the combined standings, with a win or draw against Fiji guaranteeing qualification, while a bonus point in defeat could also be enough for the home side.
After Fiji beat Tonga 14-10 to secure the Oceania 1 qualifying spot last weekend, the Oceania 2 winner will join England, France, Argentina and USA in Pool C in two years’ time.
The match kicks-off at 14:10 at Apia Park (GMT +13) and will be live on Fiji TV and Sky NZ. It will be broadcast on TV1 in Samoa and will also be live-streamed worldwide on www.worldrugby.org (geo-blocked in Samoa, Fiji, New Zealand and Canada).
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Rugby fans in Samoa will have a rare opportunity to get up close to the iconic trophy as it goes on display before the match in Apia. The trophy will also make appearances at various rugby clinics in the lead up to the PNC encounter.
Samoa Rugby Union Chief Executive Vincent Faleomavaega said: “The Webb Ellis Cup is a huge symbol of our sport and we do not see it in the Pacific Islands very often. To secure the Oceania 2 qualifying spot, we have to be at our best and take the match to Fiji who have had some very good results over the last few weeks against Italy, Scotland and Tonga.
“Manu Samoa desperately wants to put on a good performance in front of their home fans and qualify for RWC 2019 by defeating Fiji this weekend.”