Uruguay is to host a new competition. Set to be played in October, the South American country will welcome the ‘A’ sides from Argentina, Canada, Fiji, Samoa, and the USA.
To be financed by World Rugby, the initiative is a welcome bridge from domestic rugby to international level. It is to act in place of the former World Rugby Americas Rugby Championship which has now been moved to March and elevated to full test status. The former competition was a four-nation tournament involving the ‘A’ sides of Argentina, Canada, Uruguay, and the USA.
The Americas Pacific Challenge will be played differently. With it being a six team format it is to replicate that of the World Rugby Nations Cup. All teams will play three matches, doing so in a 10 day time frame.
The competition will be played from October 7-16 in Montevideo. The dates see the Finals of the Campeonato Uruguayo moved forward to October 1. It will ensure Uruguay has complete access to the country’s home based players.
For Canada and the USA the Americas Pacific Challenge will ensure competition resumes against Fiji and Samoa. With the 2016 Pacific Nations Cup not involving the North Americans neither Canada nor the USA played a test against Fiji or Samoa this past June.
A more important advantage that all participants will gain is preparation for the November internationals. All involved are to receive vital match practice ahead of playing their end-of-year test matches.
In the case of Uruguay the test side is to play three test matches in Europe. Two of the three are confirmed with Los Teros facing Romania and Spain.