Sport Fiji team granted entry to NSWRL competition in 2020
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A fledgling Fijian team will compete in the Ron Massey Cup from next season following a landmark agreement between the NSW Rugby League and Fiji National Rugby League.
The Kaiviti Silktails will play in the NSWRL sanctioned competition in 2020, with a view to playing in the Canterbury Cup in future seasons.
Kaiviti means a person from Fiji, while the Silktail is a native Fijian bird.
The arrangement, which aims to provide a pathway for Fiji’s future rugby league stars, will be funded by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) for the next four years.
“This is an historic and exciting day for both the NSWRL and Fiji National Rugby League,” NSWRL chairman Dr Peponis said.
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“Fiji has provided our game with plenty of exciting players over the decades and it’s a wonderful initiative to now have a direct pathway to help them pursue a Rugby League career.
“I’d like to thank the DFAT for all their support and I can’t wait to see the Kaiviti Silktails in action in 2020.”
Fijian-born NRL legend Petero Civoniceva, who played for Brisbane, Penrith, Queensland, Australia and Fiji in his stellar rugby league career, also played a pivotal role in the new inititiative.
“We’ve been very fortunate to have a good support network of people behind this push,” Civoniceva said.
“I’m very grateful to the NSWRL to give us an opportunity to present our case and today’s launch in Suva with both of our Prime Ministers present is a huge bonus.
“This will be a wonderful pathway to help local talent chase their dream of playing professional Rugby League.”
Samoa in Nines box seat after early upsets .
Samoa have flogged Fiji 32-17 to put themselves in prime position to qualify for the World Cup Nines finals in Sydney. 1/4 SLIDES © Getty SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 18: Maika Tudravu of Fiji scores a try during the round 1 Rugby League World Cup 9s match between Fiji and Samoa at Bankwest Stadium on October 18, 2019 in Sydney, Australia.