Launched in 2018, The Pacific Rugby combine is a World Rugby funded programme that gives emerging talent from Fiji, Tonga and Samoa the opportunity to access some of the world’s best coaches, strength and conditioning coaches and lifestyle mentors which prepares these players for a potential career in the modern elite rugby environment.
World Rugby announced this initiative with the goal in mind of helping the future stars of these emerging nations develop and identify players to be put forward for a professional contract in competitions like the Gallagher Premiership, Global Rapid Rugby, Mitre 10, Major League Rugby, PRO14, Superliga Americana de Rugby and Super Rugby.
This initiative is part of a 4 year cycle that expresses World Rugby’s aim to nurture test-level talent as well as their wider commitment to supporting the Pacific Island unions.
This year 44 players were selected World Rugby Pacific Combine and Oceania Rugby Women’s Combine, which are scheduled to run in consecutive weeks for the first time. Suva hosted both events which had 24 men and 20 women who were selected from their performances at at the World Rugby Pacific Challenge 2023 and Oceania Rugby Women’s Championship 2023, which were played in Samoa and Australia in May and June.
From the mens combine 6 players were offered contracts for the Fijian Drua side, and another 6 were offered contracts for the Moana Pasifika side.
Pacific Rugby players CEO Hale T.Pole explained however that he wanted the players who missed out on these contracts to still carry the knowledge and skills that they picked up from the combine into further endeavors.
“It’s not just about the top guys who get those contracts, it’s also about the guys that may miss out now. If they can retain the information and the skills they’ve picked up and pass it onto their local side and teammates it will have a lasting impact”.
From the women’s combine 6 players will be selected for a scholarship program for Super W teams in Australia next year. Players will be allocated to Super W teams including ACT Brumbies, Rebels, and Western Force, a great opportunity for up and coming pacific rugby players.
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Article written by:
Kace O’Neill & Vanessa Leota