Canada and the United States will join an expanded Pacific Nations Cup rugby tournament later this year, while champion Samoa moves up into a bigger league.
The International Rugby Board said Canada and United States will join Japan, Fiji and Tonga in the Pacific tournament in late May and June. It said the move underscored its commitment to boosting competition for tier two nations.
Samoa, currently the highest-ranked Pacific nation at No 7, will play instead in a quadrangular tournament featuring South Africa, Scotland and Italy.
Japan will host the Pacific Nations Cup final as it continues to prepare for the 2019 World Cup.