July 26, 2019 / 1:23 AM / 4 months ago

FACTBOX-Rugby-Pacific Nations Cup

July 26 (Reuters) - Factbox on the 2019 Pacific Nations Cup, which starts on Saturday:

* The Pacific Nations Cup was started by World Rugby in 2006 and aimed to give the region’s tier two nations experience “exposure to the rigours of international competition in a condensed tournament format”.

* Pacific island nations Fiji, Samoa and Tonga are joined this year by guest sides Japan, the United States and Canada. The last time these six teams played in the tournament was in 2015, also a World Cup year.

* The nine matches will be played over three weekends from July 27 to Aug. 10 in Samoa, Japan, the United States and Fiji. All six teams will play their final round matches in Fiji (see below).

* Fiji are the reigning champions and have won the tournament five times, including the last four editions. Samoa have won the title outright twice and shared the 2014 title with Japan, who also won it in 2011.

* The tournament is played in a round-robin format with four points for a win, two for a draw and bonus points for losing by fewer than seven points or scoring four or more tries in a match.

FIXTURES (all times GMT)

July 27 Samoa v Tonga, Apia (0200)

July 27 Japan v Fiji, Kamaishi (0550)

July 27 U.S. v Canada, Denver (0000)

Aug. 3 U.S. v Samoa, Suva (0230)

Aug. 3 Fiji v Canada, Suva (0515)

Aug. 3 Japan v Tonga, Osaka (1010)

Aug. 9 Tonga v Canada, Lautoka (0300)

Aug. 10 U.S. v Japan, Suva (0435)

Aug. 10 Fiji v Samoa, Suva (0715)

Compiled by Nick Mulvenney, editing by Greg Stutchbury

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