Tahiti national rugby union team

The Tahiti national rugby union team is a third tier rugby union team, representing the island of Tahiti in French Polynesia, an overseas collectivity of France. They first played in 1971 and have played numerous games to date, most against rivals Cook Islands and several against Niue. Other games have been played against Samoa, Wallis and Futuna, Papua New Guinea and Tonga. France played a match against Tahiti at the end of their 1979 tour and won 92–12.[1] Plans to have annual "test" match series against Pacific island neighbours, New Caledonia have been put on hold, due to time, availability, finances, and coaching and refereeing resources. They have yet to qualify for the Rugby World Cup. Rugby union in Tahiti is administered by the Fédération Tahitienne de Rugby de Polynésie Française. Currently, players who have represented or played for the Tahiti national rugby team, are eligible to represent France. However, playing at a professional level can only enable this. At present there are several Tahitian professional rugby players abroad in France's Top 14 and Pro D2 professional competition.

Tahiti
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s)Tahiti Nui XV, Aito
UnionFédération Tahitienne de Rugby
de Polynésie Française
Head coachRomi Ropati
CaptainTunui Anania
Top scorerManuarii Richmond
Top try scorerManuarii Richmond
Home stadiumStade Pater Te Hono Nui
First colours
Second colours
World Rugby ranking
Current96 (as of 23 November 2020)
First international
Tahiti 0–3 Wallis and Futuna 
(1 September 1971)
Biggest win
Tahiti 36–12 Solomon Islands 
(26 August 2015)
Biggest defeat
Tahiti 9–102 Fiji 
(12 September 1983)

HistoryEdit

Rugby is greatly growing in popularity in Tahiti, but the national sport still remains soccer.

Rugby came to Tahiti via three separate streams, firstly, through the visits of British, New Zealand and Australian sailors; secondly, through the French presence (many of the main teams are still French military); and thirdly through contact with neighbouring Pacific islands, where the game is popular.[2]

Tahiti first played the game in 1971.

It was founded in 1989 and became affiliated to the International Rugby Board in 1994.

It is also a full member of Oceania Rugby, which is the governing body for rugby union in Oceania.

Up to 2003, Tahiti played in international rugby sevens (Pacific Games) and XV-a-side, in the qualifying rounds for the Rugby World Cup.[3]

In 2006, there were fourteen clubs in the national championship and two divisions.[3] There were also sevens competitions, women's rugby, and under-18 rugby competitions as well.[3]

In 2017 Tahiti won the Oceania Rugby Cup, beating their rivals Cook Islands at BCI Stadium in Rarotonga, Cook Islands by a score of 13–9.

Uniform and colorsEdit

Tahiti’s kit are typically All red with white tribal, designs, etc. They also can be seen using a white jersey with red tribal, designs, etc. In the past they have used all white kits with red as their secondary color, and also Red jersey with the Tahitian flag colors and black shorts.

Kit providersEdit

Year Kit Manufacturer Main Shirt Sponsor
1971–1979
1979–1980
1980–1982
1982–1983
1982–1983
1983–1997
1997–2001
2001–2003
2003–2005   Puma
2005–2006
2006–2013
2013–2015
2015–present   Sportif JRH Air Tahiti Nui

Home groundsEdit

Tahiti have played most of their home matches at Stade Pater Te Hono Nui and Stade Fautaua.

Tahiti has also hosted matches for numerous Pacific Games and Oceania Cup. They share these venues with the Tahiti national football team and club sides from both rugby and football.

Annually Tahiti hosts the Papeete International Sevens Tournament.

RecordEdit

Oceania CupEdit

Tahiti competes in the Oceania Cup which is played against seven other Pacific nations: American Samoa, Cook Islands, New Caledonia, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu. Tahiti has competed in the very first Oceania Cup when it was created in 1997. Since 2015, Tahiti has played 4 matches against: Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, American Samoa and Cook Islands recording a record of 3 wins and 1 loss. Their only loss was to 2015 Oceania Cup Champions Papua New Guinea, and until this date, it has been their only loss since then. They placed second in the standings table and were Runner-up in the tournament. In 2017 they won the Oceania Cup beating their rival Cook Islands in the 2017 Oceania Cup Championship by a score of 9–13 in Avarua, Cook Islands.

Oceania tournaments

Year Winner Score Runner-up Match venue Refs
1996*   Cook Islands round-robin   Papua New Guinea Rarotonga [4]
2002*   Papua New Guinea 29–14
16–21
  Cook Islands Port Moresby
Rarotonga
[5]
2003   Niue round-robin   Cook Islands Auckland
Rarotonga
[6]
2004   Cook Islands 50–5   Niue Rarotonga [7][8]
2005*   Cook Islands 37–12
11–20
  Papua New Guinea Rarotonga
Port Moresby
[9]
2006 The final of the 2006 FORU Cup between Vanuatu and Niue was cancelled. [10]

Oceania Cup

Year Winner Score Runner-up Match venue Refs
2007    Papua New Guinea 46–27   Niue Paliati, Alofi [11]
2008   Niue 27–5   New Caledonia Noumea [12]
2009*   Papua New Guinea 29–21   Cook Islands Port Moresby [13]
2011   Papua New Guinea round-robin   Solomon Islands Port Moresby [14]
2013*   Cook Islands round-robin   Papua New Guinea Port Moresby [15]
2015   Papua New Guinea round-robin   Tahiti Port Moresby [16]
2017*   Tahiti 13–9   Cook Islands Rarotonga [17]
2019   Papua New Guinea round-robin   Niue Port Moresby [18]

Notes:

* Part of the Rugby World Cup qualification process.
  The final of the 2007 tournament was not held until April 2008. Starting from 2009, the tournament has been held biennially.

Rugby World CupEdit

World Cup record
Year Round P W D L F A
   1987 Not invited
    1991 Did not qualify
  1995
  1999
  2003
  2007
  2011 Did not participate
  2015 Did not qualify
  2019 Disqualified
  2023 Suspended
Total 0/9

OverallEdit

Tahiti are currently ranked 84th on the World Rugby Rankings table.[19]

Against Played Won Lost Drawn
  American Samoa 1 1 0 0
  Cook Islands 9 2 7 0
  Fiji 1 0 1 0
  France 2 0 2 0
  Italy 1 0 1 0
  New Caledonia 1 1 0 0
  Niue 4 1 3 0
  Papua New Guinea 3 0 3 0
  Samoa 1 0 1 0
  Solomon Islands 4 1 3 0
  Tonga 1 0 1 0
  Wallis and Futuna 2 1 1 0
Total 29 7 22 0

PlayersEdit

Tahiti Nui XV “Aito”

Head coach:   Romi Ropati

Player Position Date of birth (age) Club
David Lahille Hooker (1990-03-20) 20 March 1990 (age 32)   L'Isle-Jourdain
Martin Taeae Prop (1991-07-24) 24 July 1991 (age 31)   Valence-d'Agen
Patrick Tevero Prop (1993-12-02) 2 December 1993 (age 29)   La Roche-sur-Yon
Angus Chales Prop   Pirae
Brandon Tihata Prop   Le Mans
Loic Tautu Forward (1983-09-13) 13 September 1983 (age 39)   Arue
Jean Tautu Forward  
Torea Morou Lock (1991-08-09) 9 August 1991 (age 31)   Chartres
Lehi Tematafaarere Lock (1989-07-29) 29 July 1989 (age 33)   Chartres
Andrew Vanaa Back Row (1989-12-23) 23 December 1989 (age 33)   Isle
Haley Teuira Flanker (1986-04-16) 16 April 1986 (age 36)   Pirae
Tunui Anania (c) Flanker (1989-04-07) 7 April 1989 (age 33)   Valence-d'Agen
Manuarii Richmond Number 8 (1988-04-14) 14 April 1988 (age 34)   Faa'a
Guillaume Brouqui Scrum-half (1985-07-21) 21 July 1985 (age 37)   Trélissac
Raihau Taurei Scrum-half (1994-11-28) 28 November 1994 (age 28)   Pirae
Andoni Jimenez Fly-half (1989-08-03) 3 August 1989 (age 33)   Nantes
Anthony Tesquet Fly-half (1986-02-17) 17 February 1986 (age 36)   La Teste-de-Buch
Ganaham Huuti Back  
Teariki Wong Sung Back (1993-02-24) 24 February 1993 (age 29)   Le Mans
Tamahao Opeta Centre  
Mathieu Taulelle Centre (1992-01-23) 23 January 1992 (age 31)   La Hulpe
Taitearii Mahuru Centre (1989-12-21) 21 December 1989 (age 33)   Pirae
Vincent Perez Wing (1989-04-17) 17 April 1989 (age 33)   Tournon-d'Agenais
James Tekurio Wing (1984-05-05) 5 May 1984 (age 38)   Muret
Makalea Foliaki Wing (1996-09-24) 24 September 1996 (age 26)   Cognac Saint-Jean-d'Angély
Jean-Teiva Jacquelain Wing (1994-04-22) 22 April 1994 (age 28)   Mont-de-Marsan
François Tardieu Fullback (1995-02-01) 1 February 1995 (age 28)   Valence-d'Agen
Cedric Martin Fullback (1989-06-29) 29 June 1989 (age 33)   FCTT

Notable playersEdit

Player Notability
Jean-Teiva Jacquelain Played for Toulon(Academy) and La Rochelle in Top 14 and Grenoble(Pro D2), currently playing with Mont-de-Marsan in Pro D2 and France 7s
Timi Frogier
Richard Mapuhi Played for French Club Pau in Pro D2 (49 caps, 1990–1994)
Tauirai Bessert
Apolosi Foliaki
Makalea Foliaki Played for Toulon(Academy) in Top 14, now playing with Cognac Saint-Jean-d'Angély in Nationale, he is the son of former player Apolosi Foliaki.
Tihoti Tamarono
François Tardieu Played for Agen(Top 14), Colomiers(Pro D2, Now plays with Valence d’agen(Fédérale 1)

Vakatini Atuahiva (JJ) Played for Counties Manukau Steeelers NZ 1982, 1991–1995: Manawatu 1984–1990 NZ:, NZ All Black Colts 1982 & 1984:

NZ Divisional XV 1993: NZ Maori All Black 1994: Cook Island 7s and XV

Guest playersEdit

These players were capped for Tahiti in an invitational match against France to celebrate Bastille Day in Papeete on 14 July 1981:

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ *Vivian Jenkins, ed. (1980). Rothmans Rugby Yearbook 1980–81. Queen Anne Press. p. 38. ISBN 0-362-02018-3.
  2. ^ Richard Bath, ed. (1997). The Complete Book of Rugby. Seven Oaks Ltd. p. 75. ISBN 1-86200-013-1.
  3. ^ a b c (in French) Archives du Rugby: Mayotte retrieved 8 September 2009
  4. ^ "1999 Rugby World Cup Qualifier Results". ESPN Scrum. 1 September 1996.
  5. ^ "2003 Rugby World Cup Qualifier Results". ESPN Scrum. 1 September 1996.
  6. ^ "Oceania Cup". ESPN Scrum. 6 September 2003.
  7. ^ "Oceania Cup". ESPN Scrum. 28 August 2004.
  8. ^ It is unclear whether this competition included any other game apart from the one between Niue and Cook Islands
  9. ^ The competition also served as rounds 1 and 2 of Oceania qualification for 2007 Rugby World Cup.
  10. ^ "FORU Cup 2006 / Results". espnscrum.com. Retrieved 23 February 2015.
  11. ^ "Niue Island v Papua New Guinea at Paliati". ESPN Scrum. 22 April 2008.
  12. ^ "Niue take Oceania Cup rugby union final". ABC Radio Australia. 1 September 2008. Archived from the original on 16 September 2008.
  13. ^ Crucial qualifiers IRB. (2009).
  14. ^ PNG claim Oceania Cup IRB. (2011).
  15. ^ "Cook Islands defeat PNG to claim Oceania Cup and keep Rugby World Cup dream alive". Federation of Oceania Rugby Unions. 14 July 2013. Retrieved 15 July 2013.
  16. ^ "Post Match Review ORC 2015 Final". Oceania Rugby. 31 August 2015. Archived from the original on 31 August 2015. Retrieved 31 August 2015.
  17. ^ "Tahiti take home Oceania Rugby Cup". Oceania Rugby. 6 August 2017. Retrieved 6 August 2017.
  18. ^ "Pupuks win 2019 Oceania Cup". Post-Courrier. 2 September 2019. Retrieved 10 September 2019.
  19. ^ World Rugby.org (20 April 2015). "World Rugby Rankings". Retrieved 22 April 2015.
  20. ^ Irene Watt (2 April 2012). "Enrique TOPO Rodríguez talks rugby". Retrieved 22 April 2015.