Dane Coles ‘pissed off’ at World Rugby’s nonchalant attitude towards Pacific nations with proposed World League

Dane Coles 'pissed off' at World Rugby's nonchalant attitude towards Pacific nations. Picture: TVNZ

WELLINGTON, 10 MARCH 2019 (STUFF NZ) – Dane Coles has a pretty blunt stance when it comes to any proposed World League competitions – it’s not global unless it involves the Pacific.

Coles told Stuff about his frustrations with the new competition after World Rugby released their planned structure for the competition Thursday.

“It’s a long way to go and a lot more planning,” he said.

“You can’t just have these guys at World Rugby making these decisions and not having the players’ input. We need to come to some sort of medium.”

When plans for the competition first surfaced last week, it was reported the Pacific Islands wouldn’t be involved with Japan and the US joining the Rugby Championship instead. It was also reported there was no relegation-promotion system to give the Pacific teams a chance to crack the top tier of competition.

The Hurricanes captain said that approach will damage the game.

“The thing that got me was excluding the Pacific nation teams because especially in the Hurricanes we’ve had a lot of guys play for Manu Samoa and Tonga and those countries do a lot for world rugby, so them not being included in any plans was what pissed me off.

“Those Pacific nations deserve something, they deserve games and stuff like that.”

It’s a feeling many players in New Zealand relate to including Hurricanes teammate Ardie Savea who said on Monday the competition was “shutting out our Pacific brothers”.

“To be honest, [I’m] not a fan – plain and simple,” Savea said.

World Rugby said in a statement yesterday the Pacific’s rumoured exile was incorrect and “contrary to reports, our proposed competition provides opportunities for all teams to compete at the top level on merit, with promotion and relegation”.

“Under this model, the Pacific Islands and all teams outside the current 6 Nations and The Rugby Championship would have a potential pathway,” World Rugby said.

World Rugby plans to launch the three-tier league in 2022.

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