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 Rugby face Exeter Chiefs this Saturday in the European Rugby Challenge Cup semi-final, and Charlie Sharples, who starts at full back is relishing the challenge of the big Kingsholm occasion.
Gloucester meet the Exeter Chiefs for the fourth time in competitive action this weekend, this time in the semi-final of the European Rugby Challenge Cup. Director of Rugby David Humphreys told the local media this week that this is the sort of game that Gloucester want to be involved in on a regular basis and that he and his team are looking forward to it.
Following the 29-26 loss to Harlequins, club captain Billy Twelvetrees spoke of his disappointment that the Cherry and Whites were unable to cash in on the home side's indiscipline and lose a lead on Saturday afternoon.
Number eight Gareth Evans admitted to a collective feeling of frustration as Gloucester lost narrowly at Harlequins on Saturday, but insisted that there are plenty of positives to draw upon ahead of next Saturday's European Rugby Challenge Cup semi-final at home to Exeter.
Gloucester travel to the Stoop on Saturday afternoon to take on Harlequins in the Aviva Premiership. The Cherry and Whites make just two changes from last weekend's win over Connacht as they seek consistency and continuity in their play as Nick Walshe told the local media this week.
Supporters who are still to purchase tickets for Saturday's European Rugby Challenge Cup semi-final at home to Exeter Chiefs at Kingsholm (kick off 7:45pm) are reminded that Early Bird prices are only valid until 6:30pm on Thursday evening.
The Gloucester Wheelchair Rugby team travelled to Fenton Manor Complex, Stoke on Trent last Saturday to take part in the final round of the GBWR Super Series of the season, knowing just one win would be enough to crown them Division 3 Champions.