English Premiership side Sale confimed
had signed Test forwards Ignacio Fernandez Lobbe and Sebastien Bruno.
Lobbe, who can play at lock or No.8, has won 45 caps for Argentina
arrives at Sale from French club Castres.
Bruno, will also make a cross-Channel journey to the north-west
arriving from Beziers. The 29-year-old hooker was capped by France
2002 Six Nations Championship.
Rugby Union’s newest composite test
Pacific Islanders Rugby Alliance (PIRA), unveiled a hefty sponsorship
The team, made up of the best players from Fiji, Samoa and Tonga,
tests against Australia, New Zealand and South Africa later in June
PIRA said in a statement they had signed an exclusive naming
agreement with Fiji manufacturer and retailer Punja and Sons worth in
of 300,000 Fiji dollars (171,000 US) for the inaugural tour.
“This is a milestone in the history of Pacific Island rugby
and we are
indebted to Punjas for their foresight in investing in the Pacific
said PIRA chief executive Charlie Charters.
Charters said the sponsorship agreement was for one year with an
The sponsorship would ensure the team was fully funded without
any investment from the Unions of Fiji, Samoa and Tonga that owned
Team coach Wayne Pivac said getting the right players was the key
competitiveness of the Islanders.
“This important sponsorship from Punjas now gives us the
to ensure that the team can become everything it should be in terms
best players,” said Pivac.
According to the three Island rugby Unions the top players have
themselves available for selection.
PIRA has been in discussions with the South Africa, Australia and
Zealand (SANZAR) joint venture for three months about the inclusion
Pacific Island Test and Super 12 team in the expanded competition
begin in season 2006.
“Nothing definitive has come from this discussions but we
the Punjas Pacific Islanders are playing such high profile matches at
exact time the shape of the new SANZAR agreement is being
The Pacific Islanders is scheduled to play Test matches against
Wallabies in Adelaide on July 3, the All Blacks on July 10 in Albany