The Oceania Rugby U20s Challenge – Auckland Ignites a New Era of Pacific Rugby Talent

Oceania Rugby and Moana Pasifika are delighted to announce a strategic partnership aimed at launching a new age-grade competition designed to reinvigorate U20s pathway programs across the Pacific region. The Oceania Rugby U20s Challenge will serve as a viable competition pathway opportunity for age-grade players across the Pacific to advance into the elite professional environment of Moana Pasifika and Fijian Drua.

In 2024, the competition will feature Fiji, Samoa and Tonga, alongside a Moana Pasifika invitational U20s team. The partnership vision is intended to include all other Pacific Unions with Under 19/20 age-grade programs, such as Papua New Guinea, Cook Islands, Solomon Islands, and the French Polynesian territories in an inclusive approach to also provide these unions with an exciting pathway opportunity.

The new competition will also serve as a qualifier for Samoa and Tonga for the 2024 World Rugby U20s Trophy to be played in Scotland from 2-17 July. The winner between the two Pacific foes in round two will advance as Oceania’s representative to this key event.

Moana Pasifika, renowned for its commitment to promoting and celebrating Pacific culture, will proudly host the tournament at North Harbour in Auckland. The matches will take place on Tuesday, 27 February, with the second round starting on Saturday, 2 March, culminating with the final round on Wednesday, 6 March.

The competition not only highlights the immense talent and passion for rugby in the Oceania region but also provides a platform for young players to shine on an international stage. The Oceania Rugby Challenge aims to foster growth, development, and camaraderie among the participating nations while also promoting the sport of rugby in the region.

“This unique blend of athleticism, creativity, and cultural pride promises to showcase our region’s top rugby talent in a traditional hub for Pasifika communities, the city of Auckland,” Oceania Rugby GM Frank Puletua said.

“Oceania Rugby is proud to support the development and growth of our young athletes, and we look forward to seeing more young men and women graduate into elite competition through the U20’s program.”

Read the full story on the Oceania Rugby website.