• Pacific Nations Cup launches its new vibrant identity for the revamped and extended 2024 edition kicking off in August

• Each team guaranteed a minimum of three tests and one home fixture, boosting development, exposure, and competitiveness

• Two regional pools of three created to minimize player travel during the pool phase
• First Pacific Nations Cup finals series hosted in Japan in Tokyo and Osaka from 14-21 September, with USA hosting in alternate years

•  Extended Pacific Nations Cup embedded within new international rugby calendar, feeding into the new competition to be launched in 2026

Rugby fans can mark the dates for an exciting annual men’s international competition when the Pacific Nations Cup plays out over five weekends during the southern hemisphere international window (August 23 – September 21).

Run by World Rugby in partnership with the six unions (Canada, Fiji, Japan, Samoa, Tonga and USA), the competition is set to level up global rugby as a cornerstone of a new annual calendar aimed at driving competitiveness ahead of an expanded Men’s Rugby World Cup 2027 in Australia.

Creating an annual competition and rivalries like those seen in the Men’s Six Nations and Rugby Championship, the tournament will combine with the two-division global calendar competitions launching in 2026 to provide unprecedented certainty of fixtures and opportunity, increasing competitiveness, fan engagement and commercial opportunities for the six participating nations.

SIX TEAMS, FIVE WEEKENDS, TWO POOLS, ONE WINNER

Two regional pools of three teams have been created to optimise player recovery, reducing the fatigue of long-distance travel and the competition’s carbon emissions in line with World Rugby’s Environmental Sustainability Plan 2030. Each team is guaranteed to play at least three matches in the competition with a minimum of one home fixture, providing the participating unions with an opportunity to market matches and grow audiences.

Fiji, Samoa and Tonga make up Pool A and will play each other in home or away fixtures. This represents a significant increase in the number of tests organised in the Pacific Islands and Tonga will host more home Pacific Nations Cup fixtures in the next four years than then have in all competitions over the last decade. Across the Pacific Ocean, Canada, Japan and USA will also face each other in a round-robin format to claim the top two positions of Pool B.

VIEW THE FIXTURES HERE


FINALS ALTERNATING BETWEEN JAPAN AND USA

The Pacific Nations Cup will culminate in a winner-takes-all finals series, taking place in Japan and USA (in alternating years)​, two strategically important markets for the future advancement of the sport. Hosted in Japan for the first edition, all six teams will travel to Tokyo to either play in the fifth-place play-off or the semi-finals between pool winners and pool runners-up on 14-15 September.

The third-place play-off and final will be hosted in Osaka a week later on 21 September to crown the Pacific Nations Cup 2024 champion, an exciting prospect for rugby fans around the world.

World Rugby’s High-Performance Pathways and Player Development Manager Simon Raiwalui said: “We are incredibly proud and excited to launch the revamped Pacific Nations Cup this year with a vibrant brand and an optimised match schedule. The six teams taking part in the competition will benefit from long-term certainty around fixtures, allowing them to optimise their preparations and engage with fans and commercial partners.

“With so much talent in the Pacific Islands, Japan and the two North American teams, fans can expect a tough contest and a great spectacle epitomised with epic finals in Japan.”

World Rugby Chief Executive Alan Gilpin said: “World Rugby’s mission is a global sport for all. The reimagined Pacific Nations Cup is an example of our mission in action. Combined with the proposed new two-division global competition model from 2026 and crossover fixtures against high-performance unions, performance unions could be playing an unprecedented number of annual fixtures from 2026.

“The model supports welfare and also provides unprecedented certainty of fixtures for unions to help increase awareness, excitement and value, while the grand final in the USA every two years is at the heart of our strategy to grow rugby visibility, accessibility and relevance on the road to Rugby World Cup 2031 and 2033. In short, this is a competition that serves several important purposes.”

Japan men’s head coach Eddie Jones added: “The Pacific Nations Cup is really important for Japan because it allows us to play regular tests against strong countries in tournament conditions, which is great practice for the players for Rugby World Cup.

“The Pacific Nations Cup fits in right next to the Rugby Championship and Six Nations in providing that regular competition for Pacific nations. Having finals is also a good way for players to experience games that have consequences, and it is great for Japan to host them in the first year, showing why it is a great rugby country.”

USA Rugby CEO, Ross Young added: “This is a massively exciting day for USA Rugby, as many years of hard work and collaboration comes together in an official schedule of events. Kicking off our Pacific Nations Cup campaign on home soil in Los Angeles will be a premier experience as we lay foundation for the finals series to be hosted here in 2025. We’re thrilled for the rugby community to join us in this new era of annual competition and opportunity for USA fans and partners alike.”

Tonga Rugby Union Acting CEO Aisea Aholelei said: “The Tonga Rugby Union is excited about this revamped Pacific Nations Cup because of its significance to Tongan rugby and the ‘Ikale Tahi team. The competition will be fierce as all teams will try and prove they belong to the top teams in world rugby. Tonga will take this challenge with a smile and a thumping heart. It will be exciting.”

Rugby Canada CEO, Nathan Bombrys added: “As we saw this past weekend at HSBC SVNS, Vancouver is the preeminent rugby city in North America.  We are very excited to see our Canadian national team return to BC Place for an international match against an exciting Japan team. The Pacific Nations Cup provides consistent annual fixtures and quality competition for our men, and we look forward to kicking off the tournament in front of a Canadian crowd in August.”

The Pacific Nations Cup 2024 will be available to watch everywhere on the planet, either through a local broadcast partner or on RugbyPass TV. Confirmation of kick-off times, venues and broadcast arrangements will be confirmed in due course.