The Pacific Islands Cup (not to be confused with the Pacific Sevens Cup) is a new Sevens tournament that was announced by the IRB in 2012. The inaugural edition will be held in 2012 - the 2012 Pacific Islands Cup, in Lovia.
There are a number of hosting bids:
The Lovia bid won.
The IRB-board has tried to attracted as large a number of participants as possible, and a number of teams will likely debut at the Cup. The IRB celebrated having attracted possible participation from all Pacific nations and the five major colonies, though it is not known whether all of them will compete. This would definetely increase Rugby Sevens' popularity throughout the Pacific, and possibly worldwide.
These are the likely participants (nations who have expressed interest), as of now:
- American Samoa
- Cook Islands
- Marshall Islands
- Micronesia (Federated States of)
- New Caledonia
- New Zealand
- Solomon Islands
This list includes 18 teams. Some IRB-members have proposed a system of two poules of four and two of five, while others have proposed inviting 2 teams to give the tournament a total of 20 teams and four poules of five. Invitee-pairs that have been suggested include Japan and the Philippines, Chinese Taipei and Hong Kong, and Indonesia and Singapore. Another invitee-pair-bid, Papua New Guinea and Timor-Leste, failed to meet the deadline by a small margin, but the two teams were awarded "guaranteed participation" at the upcoming 2012 Lovian Sevens Series.
There will be two invitees, Chinese Taipei and Hong Kong.
A small qualification tournament was held to determine which French Pacific colony (New Caledonia, Tahiti/French Polynesia, Wallis and Futuna) would compete in the Cup.