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Monday 18
March

Rugby Union

Pacific Islands throw World Cup into doubt

2nd March 2019, 11:46 by Chris Rivers

The Pacific Island nations have said they could boycott this year's World Cup in a protest against plans to introduce a World League.

Fiji, Samoa and Tonga have all qualified for this autumn's Rugby World Cup in Japan but their participation has been thrown into doubt after the Pacific Rugby Players' Welfare called on its 600 members to consider a boycott.

The PRPW are upset at World Rugby's decision to revamp the international Test calendar from 2020, announcing plans to introduce a 12-team World League.

While rugby's governing body have yet to finalise their plans for the new competition, the Pacific Islands fear being left out and the PRPW's Daniel Leo, who played for Samoa in two World Cups, has called on the nations to unite to "head off this calamity".

"The days of colonialism are long behind us but this model that they're proposing is more reminiscent of those days," the former lock told BBC Sport.

"We want to be known as a progressive sport - one that's inclusive, one that allows sides to be promoted and allows sides to have equal opportunity - but the signs are a bit ominous.

"Everyone plays this game to progress and if there's a ceiling to how well you can do in this game then smaller nations probably just shouldn't play in the first place. I feel we're at a real crossroads in the sport."

This article originated on sportinastorm.com

Chris Rivers is an experienced reporter who closely follows both Arsenal and Wales Rugby Union team. As well as in-depth football and rugby knowledge, Chris is an avid American Football, Formula One and boxing fan.

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