The Pacific Nations Cup is the rugby competition that involves countries from the Pacific area. It started in 2006 and involved 5 countries, has had 4 countries involved for some years and in 2013 again had 5 teams. In 2014 and 2015 there were 6 teams involved. Due to the qualification format for the RWC 2019, Japan, Canada and USA will not play in the competition in 2016 & 2017, leaving the three Pacific Island teams to play for the title.
The usual rugby scoring system is used: 4 points for a win, 2 points for a draw, 1 bonus point for scoring 4 or more tries and 1 bonus point for losing by 7 or less points.
The three teams playing in the 2016 competition are:
The Pacific Nations Cup started in 2006. In the first year it was known as the Pacific 5 Nations.
The teams involved in the first year were Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, Japan and the Junior All Blacks from New Zealand. In 2007, Australia 'A' joined the competition and in 2008 the NZ Maori side took the place of the Junior All Blacks.
In 2009 Australia 'A' ceased it's involvement in the competition and the Junior All Blacks returned to take the place of the NZ Maori side. This was the last year they played in the competition and since 2010 the competition has been a 4 team competition with Fiji, Samoa, Tonga and Japan.
In 2013 the competition comprises of 5 teams: Fiji, Tonga, Japan, Canada and the USA. Samoa withdrew as they had qualified to play in a quadrangular tournament in South Africa.
In 2014 changes were made to the competition. There were 6 teams playing in the competition and they were split into 2 conferences, the North Pacific Conference and the South Pacific Conference. Each team played the other teams once within their conference.
In 2015, further changes were made. Due to the Rugby World Cup the tournament was held later, in July and August, and teams played each team in the opposing pool. Following these three games, teams will play off on the basis of their overall table position.
In 2016 & 2017, Japan, Canada and USA did not take part in the competition. This was due to the qualification format for the 2019 RWC. This format meant that the top two teams (of the three playing) over the 2016 & 2017 seasons would qualify.
In 2018 a new format was used. This included Georgia joining the 3 Island teams and each team playing twice. The winner was the team with the most competition points at the completion of the matches. This format was introduced by World Rugby as a high performance preparation for the RWC 2019.
In 2019 there were 6 teams involved in the competition with Japan, USA and Canada joined the 3 Island teams. There were 2 pools of three teams and each team played 3 games against the 3 teams in the other pool. The winner was the team with the most competition points at the end of the matches.
No competition was played in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In 2022 there were 4 teams involved with Australia A playing for the first time since 2008. Games were played in Fiji with each team playing the others and the winner being the team with the most competition points at the end of the tournament.