The 2024 Pacific Four Series returns kicks off on 27 April with matches taking place in Australia, New Zealand and USA.
Last year's captains
The dates for the 2024 Pacific Fours have been published.
Nominally, at least, this year's tournament is a World Cup qualifier, but in practice all four teams are already certain for next year's tournament.
As Canada and New Zealand have already qualified as RWC 2021 semi-finalists, on paper at least whoever ends third in this competition will win a place. But as they will also be in WXV1 the mathematics of World Cup qualification means that both they and whoever ends last (and is placed in WXV2) were always guranteed a World Cup spot. Indeed, because of how World Cup qualification and WXV currently works, it would be impossible for any of the Pacific Fours teams to ever not qualify for a World Cup.
That may change in future when WXV is reviewed next year.
So the jeapody in practice is as last year - getting a spot at the top table that is WXV1 rather than competing in WXV 2 alongside three teams from Europe and regional qualification winners from Africa and Asia.
This year's Pacific Four Series will kick-off with a standalone fixture in the USA on 27 April in Los Angeles with 2023's basement team hosting 2023 runners-up, Canada, in a fixture the USA has not won since 2019, and the only game that will be played in the northern hemisphere.
Overall it is hard to see New Zealand not winning a third straight title and remaining unbeaten record in the competition, despite ending only third in WXV1 last year, especially as they will be at home for all three of their games over three back-to-back weekends between 11-25th May.
Following their wins over France and Wales in WXV 1, Australia will want to maintain that momentum under new coach Jo Yapp when they host Canada and USA.
World Rugby Pacific Four Series 2024 match schedule
Saturday, 27 April USA v Canada (Los Angeles)
Saturday, 11 May New Zealand v USA; Australia v Canada
Friday, 17 May Australia v USA
Sunday, 19 May New Zealand v Canada
Saturday, 25 May New Zealand v Australia
Host city and venue details to be confirmed shortly