World Cup gets rapid treatment

The squads have been finalised and teams are eagerly awaiting the 2019 Rugby World Cup kick-off on Friday, 20 September. Twelve Global Rapid Rugby players are amongst those in Japan eyeing rugby’s ultimate prize with Samoa, Fiji, Tonga, and the USA all calling on the talents of players that took part in the Showcase Series this year.

There was plenty of competition for spots in the Pacific Island teams who brought players back from top level competitions across the globe, highlighting the calibre of player that Rapid Rugby was able to attract early in its development. With significant player movement expected after the World Cup concludes it augers well for the future as the first full Rapid Rugby home-and-away campaign launches in 2020.

Fijian Latui accounts for half of the Rapid Rugby players in Japan while the Western Force has three, Kagifa Samoa two and one from the Asia Pacific Dragons.

The World Cup will feature 20 teams divided into four Pools. All sides will play a minimum of four matches after which the top two ranked sides in each pool move to the knock-out quarter finals. Of the teams that feature Rapid Rugby players, Tonga and the USA will be looking to progress past the pool stages for the first time but have a significant challenge after being drawn against England, France and Argentina.

Fiji will be hoping to better their previous best mark of reaching the quarters in 2007 and 1987, while it has been a long time since Samoa has moved through to the second stage of the tournament after last reaching the quarter finals in 1995, a feat they also achieved in 1991.

We wish all nations taking part the best of luck, and no matter which country you are following, make sure you keep an eye out for the following Rapid Rugby players (bold type);

POOL A: Ireland, Scotland, Japan, Russia, Samoa
POOL B: New Zealand, South Africa, Italy, Namibia, Canada
POOL C: England, France, Argentina, USA, Tonga
POOL D: Australia, Wales, Georgia, Fiji, Uruguay

FIJI

World Ranking: 9th
All time World Cup results: Played 28, Won 10, Lost 18
Coach: John McKee        Captain: Dominiko Waqaniburotu

Mesulame Dolokoto (Fijian Latui), Samuel Matavesi, Ratu Vere Vugakoto (Fijian Latui), Campese Ma’afu, Eroni Mawi (Fijian Latui), Peni Ravai, Manasa Saulo, Kalivati Tawake, Tevita Cavubati, Leone Nakarawa, Api Ratuniyarawa, Tevita Ratuva, Semi Kunatani, Viliame Mata, Mosese Voka (Fijian Latui), Peceli Yato, Frank Lomani (Fijian Latui), Nikola Matawalu, Henry Seniloli (Fijian Latui), Levani Botia, Jale Vatubua, Ben Volavola, Vereniki Goneva, Filipo Nakosi, Waisea Nayacalevu, Semi Radradra, Josua Tuisova, Joshua Matavesi, Alivereti Veitokani, Kini Murimurivalu

PERTH, AUSTRALIA – JUNE 21: Henry Seniloli of Fijian Latui passes the ball during the Rapid Rugby match between the Western Force and Fijian Latui at HBF Park on June 21, 2019 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

Pool Matches

Sat, Sep 21
12:45 AWST | 13:45 JST
Australia vs Fiji at Sapporo Dome

Wed, Sep 25
13:15 AWST | 14:15 JST
Fiji vs Uruguay at Kamaishi Recovery Memorial Stadium

Thu, Oct 3
13:15 AWST | 14:15 JST
Georgia vs Fiji at Hanazono Rugby Stadium

Wed, Oct 9
17:45 AWST | 18:45 JST
Wales vs Fiji at Oita Stadium

SAMOA

World Ranking: 16th
All time World Cup results: Played 28, Won 12, Lost 16
Coach: Steve Jackson     Captain: Jack Lam

Ed Fidow, Tim Nanai-Williams, Ahsee Tuala, Belgium Tuatagaloa, Henry Taefu (Western Force), Alapati Leiua, Reynold Lee-Lo, Kieron Fonotia, AJ Alatimu (Western Force), Tusi Pisi, Ulupano Seuteni, Dwayne Polotaivao, Melani Matavao, Pele Cowley, Afaesetiti Amosa, TJ Ioane, Piula Fa’asalele, Josh Tyrell, Chris Vui, Teofilo Paulo, Kane Leaupepe, Senio Toleafoa, Michael Alaalatoa, Paul Alo-Emile, James Lay, Jordan Lay, Logovi’i Mulipola, Motu Matu’u, Ray Niuia, Seilala Lam

PERTH, AUSTRALIA – JUNE 21: Henry Taefu of the Force attempts to break a tackle by Mosese Voka of Fijian Latui during the Rapid Rugby match between the Western Force and Fijian Latui at HBF Park on June 21, 2019 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

Pool Matches

Tue, Sep 24
18:15 AWST | 19:15 JST
Russia vs Samoa at Kumagaya Rugby Grounds

Mon, Sep 30
18:15 AWST | 19:15 JST
Scotland vs Samoa at Kobe Misaki Stadium

Sat, Oct 5
18:30 AWST | 19:30 JST
Japan vs Samoa at City of Toyota Stadium

Sat, Oct 12
18:45 AWST | 19:45 JST
Ireland vs Samoa at Hakatanomori Football Stadium

TONGA

World Ranking: 15th
All time World Cup results: Played 25, Won 7, Lost 18
Coach: Toutai Kefu         Captain: Siale Piutau

Siegried Fisi’ihoi, Vunipola Fifita, Latu Talakai, Paula Ngauamo, Sosefo Sakalia (Asia Pacific Dragons), Siula Maile, Siua Halanukonuka, Ma’afu Fia, Ben Tameifuna, Sam Lousi, Leva Fifita, Steve Mafi, Sione Kalamafoni, Mamaa Vaipulu, Fotu Lokotui (Kagifa Samoa), Zane Kapeli, Dan Faleafa, Nasi Manu, Sonatane Takulua, Leon Fukofuka (Kagifa Samoa), Samisoni Fisilau, Kurt Morath, James Faiva, Malietoa Hingano, Nafi Tuitavake, Atieli Pakalani, David Halaifonua, Viliami Lolohea, Cooper Vuna, Telusa Veainu

NADI, FIJI – MAY 18: Fotu Lokotui of Kagifa Samoa makes a break during the Rapid Rugby match between Fijian Latui and Kagifa Samoa at Churchill Park on May 18, 2019 in Nadi, Fiji. (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)

Pool Matches

Sun, Sep 22
18:15 AWST | 19:15 JST
England vs Tonga at Sapporo Dome

Sat, Sep 28
12:45 AWST | 13:45 JST
Argentina vs Tonga at Hanazono Rugby Stadium

Sun, Oct 6
15:45 AWST | 16:45 JST
France vs Tonga Kumamoto at Prefectural Athletic Stadium

Sun, Oct 13
13:45 AWST | 14:45 JST
USA vs Tonga at Hanazono Rugby Stadium

UNITED STATES

World Ranking: 13th
All time World Cup results: Played 25, Won 3, Lost 22
Coach: Gary Gold            Captain: Blaine Scully

David Ainu’u, Malon Al-Jiboori, Nate Brakeley, Nick Civetta, Cam Dolan, Dylan Fawsitt, Eric Fry, Hanco Germishuys, James Hilterbrand, Olive Kilifi, Tony Lamborn, Titi Lamositele, Ben Landry, Paul Mullen, Gregor Peterson, Ben Pinkelman, John Quill, Joseph Taufete’e, Nate Augspurger, Marcel Brache (Western Force), Bryce Campbell, Shaun Davies, Ruben De Haas, Will Hooley, Martin Iosefo, Paul Lasike, AJ MacGinty, Will Magie, Thretton Palamo, Mike Te’o

PERTH, AUSTRALIA – MARCH 22: Marcel Brache of the Force gets tackled during the Global Rapid Rugby match between the Western Force and the World XV at HBF Park on March 22, 2019 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

Pool Matches

Thu, Sep 26
18:45 AWST | 19:45 JST
England vs USA at Kobe Misaki Stadium

Wed, Oct 02
15:45 AWST | 16:45 JST
France vs USA at Hakatanomori Football Stadium

Wed, Oct 09
12:45 AWST | 13:45 JST
Argentina vs USA at Kumagaya Rugby Grounds

Sun, Oct 13
13:45 AWST | 14:45 JST
USA vs Tonga at Hanazono Rugby Stadium

Subscribe for the latest updates

Subscribe