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:
With such a short turnaround between the two games, and Gloucester looking to reintegrate several players into the line-up after the Autumn international series, Tom Savage told GRTV that the Cherry and Whites will keep changes to a minimum for the European Rugby Challenge Cup game in Zebre on Saturday.
Gloucester travel to Italy this weekend to take on Zebre in Round Four of the European Rugby Challenge Cup. The Cherry and Whites defeated the Italian side 35-10 last Sunday, but Director of Rugby David Humphreys is looking for an improved performance in the return fixture.
Skipper Billy Twelvetrees, speaking to GRTV after the 35-10 over Zebre, was happy with the bonus point win over the Italian side but admitted Gloucester will need to tighten up for the return fixture in Parma.
Matt Kvesic was a try scorer and recipient of the Man of the Match award in Sunday's 35-10 European Rugby Challenge Cup win over Zebre. He praised the Italian side for their spirited opposition and admitted that next week's return game will be a tough one.