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Posted by JEAN CAPDOUZE on Fri Jan 18, 2019 8:36 am
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This is the benefit of having a Prime Minister who loves rugby league:



Scott Morrison announces funds for Fiji’s NRL bid

RICHARD FERGUSON
REPORTER
@RichAFerguson

9:49AM JANUARY 18, 2019

Scott Morrison will pave the way for Fiji to play in one of the NRL’s second-tier competitions with government grants to boost a local rugby league team led by former State of Origin star Petero Civoniceva.

The Prime Minister will pledge financial support, as part of the $40 million Australia-Pacific Sports Linkages Program, for Fiji’s bid to compete in the NSWRL Intrust Super Premiership and hold NRL pre-season trial matches in the Pacific by 2020.

“I am happy to announce that we will be helping fund Fiji’s pathway into the New South Wales Rugby League’s Intrust Super Premiership,” the Prime Minister said.

“It’s been a dream of Petero’s and many others to field a Fijian team in one of our most beloved competitions.

“I will be tuning in to watch … especially when they play the Newtown Jets.”

NRL head of government and community relations Jaymes Boland-Rudder said today’s announcement was an endorsement of rugby league’s growth and work in the Pacific.

“We thank the Prime Minister, and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, for generously supporting and raising the profile of the lasting impact Rugby League is making for women, children and men throughout the Pacific,” Mr Boland-Rudder said.

“The NRL trial matches, alongside the assistance provided towards funding the proposed Fijian-based team in the NSWRL Intrust Super Premiership, will have a profound impact in inspiring our proud and passionate Pacific neighbours and their communities.”

The NRL trial matches would be played in February 2020, 2021 and 2022, with the proposed Fiji team to enter the NSWRL competition next year.



https://www.theaustralian.com.au/sport/ ... b28e20ed6d

Unfortunately Scott Morrison, aka ScoMo, is unlikely to be Prime Minister for too long.
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Posted by Beverley red on Fri Jan 18, 2019 2:37 pm
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Great newsi if it pans out, a good news story. Just hope that the NRL put a bit of effort into the project as they will take the best players for their clubs. I just worry that they won’t be happy with playing internationals as they don’t even want to play us on their own patch.
Posted by JEAN CAPDOUZE on Fri Jan 18, 2019 3:11 pm
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Beverley red wrote:
Great newsi if it pans out, a good news story. Just hope that the NRL put a bit of effort into the project as they will take the best players for their clubs. I just worry that they won’t be happy with playing internationals as they don’t even want to play us on their own patch.


The plan seems to be to create a Fijian team for the Intrust Super Cup (2nd division) in 2020 -- like the PNG Hunters -- plus an array of supporting local and junior teams.

Even if the NRL clubs scoop up some of the best players, it will mean that there is still a core of players at the 2nd tier level that can make up part of the Fijian national team, along with the top tier likes of Waqa Blake, Kevin Naiqama, the Sims brothers, Apisai Korisau, Akuila Uate, Jason Bukuya, Suilasi Vunivalu, etc.
Last edited by JEAN CAPDOUZE on Sat Jan 19, 2019 4:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Posted by roopy on Sat Jan 19, 2019 4:04 am
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The department of foreign affairs has been funding the PMs 13 game in PNG every year for a decade or so, so using league as a way to foster relations between countries is not new.
Fiji is already a big tourist destination, and very safe, unlike PNG, which is about the least safe country in the world that isn't an actual war zone.
ScoMo is a dead man walking politically, but a total league tragic who probably made this happen off his own bat.
I think it will happen, even if Scomo is sitting on the backbench for the opposition in 3 months time, as he probably will be.
Posted by JEAN CAPDOUZE on Sat Jan 19, 2019 4:52 am
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It is a form of foreign aid, so it unlikely to be reversed by Labor, even though Shorten is from AFL hotbed Victoria.

We should be building an international schedule for the Fijian national team, including a tour to England and France.
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