Pacific Islands union gets green light
April 30, 2002

The eargerly awaited combined Pacific Islands rugby union side has been given the go-ahead by the International Rugby Board, but only on a four year basis.

The latest decision by the IRB means that the advanced planning by the Pacific Island unions to have matches against the All Blacks and South Africa in 2002, will now need to be rescheduled in order to meet the four-year time frame.

The combined Pacific Islanders concept was looked upon by the Pacific Unions as a money earning venture.

Earlier in the year Pacific bosses refused England's proposal to bring a development side over for a tour of the Pacific Islands.

Charlie Charters, the new Alliance's CEO, said "the Island Unions are not keen to host an England tour that will result in crushing financial losses because (an England) development selection has denied us the opportunity to earn TV and sponsorship revenues to offset costs."

The initial team is likely to be made up of players from Samoa, Tonga and Fiji.

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