Saturday 21 May 2022 | 07:05 | SYDNEY
Saturday 21 May 2022 | 07:05 | SYDNEY

Reader ripostes: Pacific rugby

8 September 2011 11:40

Yesterday Sam Roggeveen asked whether anyone had ever proposed that Pacific Island countries copy the West Indies cricket team model to create a supra-national rugby team. Three responses, beginning with Ben Davis:

Hey Sam, I think you would call the supra-national rugby team you are talking about New Zealand.

Michael Gaskin:

Short answer to your question is: yes. The team has only convened a couple of times from memory. I think they were supposed to be more in the mold of the British and Irish Lions.

Ben Reilly:

You ask why no-one has thought of a Pacific Islanders rugby team. It exists, and has done for the past eight years, bringing together mostly UK- and France-based Fijian, Samoan and Tongan players into one combined Pacific team, with mixed results. They have mostly played against European countries but also Tests against Australia and New Zealand in 2003/4. Their most notable victory to date was over Italy, from memory. Today, the individual island nations are more keen to develop their national sides.

By the way, I wrote about this at the time using the West Indies cricket analogy in an op-ed, 'Let's invite Islanders to play in our backyard' (The Australian, 2 July 2004), which just goes to show there are no new ideas under the sun!