By Pacific correspondent Barbara Dreaver
Samoa's Prime Minister has launched a stinging attack on World Rugby accusing it of setting up a competition which will treat island nations as "breeding farms".
Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi who is also chairman of Samoa Rugby has slammed a proposal for a new rugby competition which will reportedly exclude island nations.
Leaked news of a planned new 12 nation competition 'World League' starting next year sparked widespread criticism as island nations were reportedly initially left off the invitation list.
Tuilaepa says it's clear World Rugby's supposed development of tier two nations is nothing but hypocrisy and lip service.
"The inclusion of Italy and the United States, who are not in the top 12 world rankings, clearly points to greed and selfishness," he says.
He says the proposed concept is the brainchild of those who control World Rugby including New Zealand and Australia and the new competition would effectively sideline island players from playing top rugby.
"This new concept will treat Tier 2 unions as mere breeding farms for the rich 12 to pick and choose players from," he said.
Tuilapa says he is disappointed with the "lackadaisical attitude" of the All Black and Wallabies management as island players have contributed so much to the development of their game.
He says vital changes are needed to make things fairer and that includes easing up on the eligibility rules, gate-sharing of takings and setting up a Tribunal by law to adjudicate on contentious issues.
World Rugby has insisted no firm decisions have yet been made about the proposed world league competition.
It said last week the league would have three tiers, a relegation-promotion system and run in only two of the four years of a World Cup cycle.
"Contrary to reports, our proposed competition provides opportunities for all teams to compete at the top level on merit, with promotion and relegation," World Rugby said in the statement.
The Pacific Rugby Players Welfare group is talking to its members about top Pacific players potentially boycotting this year's World Cup in protest.
World Rugby has called an executive meeting in Dublin this week to discuss the matter.