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:
Jonny May's superb late score capped a thrilling 40-32 European play-off win over Connacht on Sunday. The winger spoke afterwards of his team's character and spirit as he looked ahead to one more week of rugby.
Speaking to GRTV this afternoon, Director of Rugby David Humphreys hailed the 'never say die' attitude of the team, after despite not being at their best, fighting back to take a 40-32 win after extra time over Connacht.
Jonny May continues on the wing on Sunday as Connacht come to town, and the England wing explains to the local media this week that he is delighted with his form and is looking forward to taking on Pat Lam's men.
Speaking to the local media this week, front rower John Afoa is familiar with the challenge of Connacht from his time in Belfast, and the World Cup winner is fully aware of the challenge they pose ahead of Sunday's meeting in the Champions Cup play off
Speaking ahead of Gloucester's European Rugby Champions play-off against Connacht on Sunday (Kingsholm, 3:30pm), Director of Rugby David Humphreys admitted that he's glad to have more players available than in recent weeks ahead of a tough fixture.
Nick Wood captained the Cherry and Whites on Saturday afternoon, and the experienced front rower expressed his pride in the young squad in defeat to Bath on the final day of the Aviva Premiership season.
Lewis Ludlow scored Gloucester's opening try in the 30-50 defeat at Bath on Saturday, part of an impressive performance by the young back row forward. Speaking after the game, he paid tribute to the young Gloucester side who went toe to toe with the Aviva Premiership semi-finalists.
Speaking to the local media after the game, Director of Rugby David Humphreys gave an honest assessment of the game, and expressed his pride in the way his young charges had performed against the title-chasing hosts.
Speaking to the local media this week, Gloucester Rugby scrum half Callum Braley is excited by the challenge of the West Country Derby, and the ex-Bristol man reveals the squad will be giving their all.
At the recent London Irish game, personnel from the Imjin Barracks in Innsworth, including Gurkhas, were present, holding a collection to raise funds for ShelterBox to aid relief from the recent Nepal Earthquake Appeal.
It was a thriller at Kingsholm on Sunday afternoon, as Gloucester snatched victory from the jaws of defeat, leveling the scores in the final minute before triumphing in extra time over a spirited Connacht side.