On Tuesday the 29th of September 2009, at 6.48am local Samoan time, a powerful earthquake measuring 8.3 on the Richter Scale struck in the Pacific Ocean roughly 100 miles South of Samoa and American Samoa.
The Earthquake triggered a powerful Tsunami with waves measuring up to 20 feet that slammed into the small pacific island nations of Samoa, American Samoa and Tonga.
Entire villages have been completely destroyed. 177 people have been confirmed dead and many more are still missing. Although the majority are Samoan, included amongst the dead are tourists from New Zealand, Australia and Britain.
Given the small combined population of 230,000 people, this tragedy will touch everyone living or with relatives in the area. As well as the death toll, the injured and the social costs, financial estimates of damage to infrastructure are in the region of SAT$800million.
The Guinness Premiership's Samoan players have got together to co-ordinate fundraising across the rugby community in England.
Please show your support for these players and their families by making a contribution to the Samoan Tsunami Appeal, which will help assist Samoans during this difficult time.
Gloucester Rugby have been fortunate enough to have had several fine Samoan players wear the Cherry and White in recent times. Terry Fanolua and Junior Paramore both represented the cub with distinction and Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu is carrying on the trend.
Eliota confirmed why the appeal is so important:
"As professional rugby players in England, we may be a long away from home but this tragedy has affected every one of us."
"We are all related to or know someone who has been impacted by this disaster and launching this fundraising initiative is one way that we can help the people of Samoa start to pick up the pieces and rebuild their lives."
To find out more about the Appeal and how to donate, please go to:
Gloucester have been in good form in recent weeks, but Backs Coach Tim Taylor knows that the Cherry and Whites will have to be at their best on Thursday evening (kick off 7:45pm) against a Stade Rochelais side flying high this season.
Speaking to GRTV after the bonus point win over Bristol, back row Lewis Ludlow revealed that despite a tricky first half, Gloucester backed their skills to come through, a faith that was evident in a strong second half showing.
Willi Heinz scored Gloucester's second try as the Cherry and Whites overturned a disappointing first 40 minutes and 0-6 half time deficit, to earn a 26-18 Aviva Premiership victory over Bristol Rugby on Saturday.
It's the first Gloucester-Bristol derby at Kingsholm in over eight years this Saturday (kick off 4:30pm) and, previewing the game with the local media this week, Defence Coach Jonny Bell stressed that, with both teams in the bottom half of the table, they both need the points.
Speaking to the local media this week, Gloucester front rower John Afoa knows the challenge ahead this week against Bristol, and calls on the Cherry and Whites to make the most of home advantage as a determined squad look to bounce back from a narrow loss to Saracens.
Tom Savage speaks to GRTV and the local media as Gloucester went down by 24-20 at Saracens on Sunday afternoon. The second row was disappointed with the result, despite a strong showing from the hosts.
Speaking immediately after the game, skipper Willi Heinz thought that Gloucester had executed their game plan reasonably well and competed hard against Saracens. However, it wasn't enough but the squad will have plenty to work on this week ahead of the derby match against Bristol.
Having named an unchanged starting XV for the past three Aviva Premiership games, Gloucester Rugby ring the changes and retain only five players for Thursday's visit of Stade Rochelais in the European Rugby Challenge Cup (kick off 7:45pm).