The IRFU are looking at the feasibility of re-routing some of their summer to tour to the Pacific islands – according to a report from the Irish Times.
According to the article by seasoned Irish rugby journalist Gerry Thornley, Andy Farrell’s men could face off against some or all of Fiji, Samoa and Tonga in three test series set to commence in July.
Currently, Fiji has extremely low levels of Covid-19 meaning Ireland could potentially use the island as a base of operations in the South Pacific.
The context of course is whether or not the IRFU decide to risk a summer tour given the vagaries of the pandemic and the potential for matches to be cancelled.
IRELAND Rugby ???have abandoned plans to re-route some of their proposed summer tour to AUS and are instead exploring the feasibility of a three Tests in the Pacific Islands, whether exclusively in Fiji ?? or with one of them in Tonga ??https://t.co/sTYfzH6U7i
— PacificRugbyWelfare (@pacificwelfare) April 8, 2021
According to the Irish Times report, the union will make a decision on the tour in the coming weeks.
A series in the island would be a massive boost to the rugby-mad nations and one that would be broadly welcomed by World Rugby, who are eager to see the islands play Tier 1 nations more frequently.
Fijian veteran Nemani Nadolo tweeted: “If they get it right this would be massive for the country. This will aspire the young generation knowing that they can play for Fiji in front of their families on the island against the Tier 1 giants of the game.”
If they get it right this would be massive for the country. This will aspire the young generation knowing that they can play for Fiji in front of their families on the island against the Tier 1 giants of the game.. #Tier1 #bridgethegap #bringsunscreen ???? https://t.co/pcLdyxd9RO
— nemzy (@nemani_nadolo) April 8, 2021
It had been suggested that Ireland would face Australia, but this is looking increasingly unlikely.
Sign up to our mailing list for a weekly digest from the wide world of rugby.Sign Up Now