After it has been alleged that Samoan and Tongan players have been pressured into missing the World Cup this year in order to remain with their clubs in France’s Top 14, there has been a backlash from fans on Twitter.


For Pacific Island players, the majority of their income comes from playing for their clubs, usually in France, meaning it is easier for the owners and senior figures to coerce players into avoiding the tournament which could occupy the first three months of the season for some players.

However, many fans have taken to Twitter calling for action to be taken by World Rugby to avoid this happening. This is something that has happened every World Cup, and in order for the competition to develop, the Tier Two teams need to field their best teams. However, this is just not possible if the European clubs keep hold of some players from Samoa, Tonga and Fiji.

Already this year, star Fijian players Nemani Nadolo and Timoci Nagusa, both of whom play for Montpellier, announced their retirement from international rugby, meaning they remain with their clubs. At only 31 years of age, Nadolo would have been a great asset to Fiji, as the 20 stone winger has been one of Europe’s most deadly players over the past few seasons.

Compared to Samoa and Tonga, Fiji perhaps slightly more strength in depth, meaning the loss of a few players may not affect the team too severely. However, if the other two were to lose some of their star players, it could have catastrophic consequences for their performance.

Former Samoa internationals Dan Leo and Junior Poluleuligaga have also voiced their opinion, with Poluleuligaga describing the state of affairs as “deja vu”. During their careers, they may have encountered these pressures, particularly as more money is pumped into the game.

This is what has been said:



World Rugby has already come under fire this year over their treatment of the Pacific nations with their proposal of Nations League. Therefore, to prevent further maltreatment of these players, fans are calling for World Rugby to intervene.

Of course, this leaves many players in an awkward position whereby they must choose between representing their country and earning enough money, and there are not any measures to alleviate this problem. But that does not stop this from being something that has concerned fans for a long time.

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