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Pacific Islands Set Eligibility Rules

Pacific Islands Set Eligibility Rules

The Pacfic Islands team that will play Ireland in November will be picked according to strict eligibility rules announced recently.

…Former All Black player and Samoa coach Michael Jones has been tipped to coach the Pacific Islands side which will play Ireland in November…

The Pacific Islands Rugby Alliance (PIRA) has announced that the squad which will play Ireland as part of the November International series will be picked from players who have chosen to play for Fiji, Tonga or Samoa.

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The first Islanders team in 2004 included players who subsequently played for New Zealand, but that will not be the case this time.

PIRA chief executive Sakopo Lolohea said eligibility rules for this year’s team would be changed to ensure the Islanders tour served the development of Pacific Islands rugby.

The team will definitely not be selected as in 2004,” Lolohea said.

It will be made up of players eligible to play for the three island nations.”

The PIRA board is due to meet in Fiji on August 6 to finalise details of the tour, which involves Tests against Wales, Ireland and Scotland.

The meeting is also expected to confirm the appointment of Samoa coach and former All Black Michael Jones as Islanders head coach.