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Classic Wallabies, Legends clash in Nausori

Classic Wallabies, Legends clash in Nausori
From left: Former national sevens rep Nasoni Roko, Australian High Commissioner John Feakes, Fiji Rugby CEO John O’Connor and former national rep Lemeki Duidomo in Suva on August 22, 2018. Photo: Karalaini Tavi
August 23
11:00 2018

For the second straight year, a star-studded Classic Wallabies team will tour Fiji celebrating the game of rug­by culminating in a re-match against Fiji’s own former international heroes the Fiji Legends.

Headlined by Fijian born Wallabies Samu Kerevi (21* Tests), Radike Samo (23 Tests) and Lote Tuqiri (67 Tests), the touring squad also features recently-retired Australian greats Stephen Moore and Rob Horne, as well as Wallaby-capped Melbourne Rebels star Laurie Weeks.

The tour, announced by Australian High Commissioner to Fiji John Feakes at Rugby House yesterday, will see players visit Cuvu College and Sigatoka Special School for coaching clinics with the students, as well as a visit to Sigatoka Hospital, before tak­ing on Fiji Legends in a curtain-raiser to the National Rugby Championship (NRC) match between Fiji Airways Fijian Drua and Mel­bourne Rising at Ratu Cakobau Park, Nau­sori on September 1.

Feakes said he was pleased to see the Clas­sic Wallabies return to Fiji to celebrate the passion and special bond both countries share through the game of rugby.

“Australia and Fiji share a love of rugby. Australian fans are captivated by the athleti­cism, skill and flair of Fijian players. Right through from the grassroots game all the way to the Wallabies, Australian teams are studded with Fijian stars.” he said.

“We’re bringing the Classic Wallabies out to Fiji to show the deep links between our countries and, most importantly, to give back to the Fijian fans of the game.”

 

Fiji Rugby Union chief executive officer John O’Connor says the Classic Wallabies tour, coinciding with the opening round of the Fiji Airways Drua campaign in the Aus­tralian NRC competition recognises the re­spect and value rugby brings to the relation­ship between the two countries.

“We are extremely grateful to the Australi­an High Commission to Fiji for the generous support in funding this tour for the Classic Wallabies and Fiji Legends.

“It is an honour to have the Classic Walla­bies return to Fiji to visit our communities and play the NRC curtain-raiser against our Fiji Legends and would be impossible with­out the efforts of the Australian High Com­missioner Feakes and his team. ” he said.

“The FRU see the NRC as a critical pathway for developing our local players and to host a match like this as the opener to the Fiji Airways Drua campaign helps bring more professionalism and excitement to this im­portant competition.”

William Ryder, Lemedi Duidomo, Nasoni Roko and Viliame Satala will be among the heroes of the past pulling on the white jer­sey for the Fiji Legends in 2018.

The tour is made possible thanks to the support of the Australian Government, Fiji Rugby Union (FRU), Shangri-La Hotel Coral Coast, with the Classic Wallabies also thrilled to partner with local charity Na­tional Kidney Research & Treatment Centre (NKRTC). NKRTC is an internationally-recognised centre of excellence, providing compassionate care to patients in Fiji with kidney disease through innovation and re­search.

The Classic Wallabies arrive in Fiji on Tuesday to commence their community en­gagement activities in Nadi and Sigatoka, before heading to Suva on August 31.

Fiji Legends v Classic Wallabies (2pm) and the Fiji Airways Drua v Melbourne Rising (3pm) will be played at Ratu Cakobau Park on Saturday September 1.

Gates open at 11am and tickets ($10) will be on sale from Nausori Town Council and the FRU from Friday 24th September .

2018 Classic Wallabies Touring Squad:

Sam Cordingley, Stephen Hoiles, Jimmy Holbeck, Rob Horne, Samu Kerevi*, Ste­phen Moore, Patrick Phibbs, Beau Robinson, Radike Samo, Lote Tuqiri, Morgan Turinui, Laurie Weeks*

* Denotes current professional player

2018 Fiji Legends* to take on the Classic Wallabies

Viliame Satala, Samu Saumaisue, Nasoni Roko, Emosi Vucago, William Ryder, Neumi Nanuku, Jonetani Vula, Lemeki Duidomo

*Three extra players to be confirmed.

About the Classic Wallabies:

The Classic Wallabies are the alumni of all Wallabies that have retired from the game.

They exist to continue the mateship and ca­maraderie beyond the playing days, provid­ing former Wallabies with opportunities to keep in touch, catch up and reminisce about those special times. They also provide a sup­port network for players to transition into life after Rugby, which is increasingly im­portant in the professional era.

The Classic Wallabies are committed to supporting the ongoing growth and develop­ment of Rugby at a grassroots level, all over Australia and the World. They translate this desire into practical support of Rugby, with Classic Wallabies involved in junior skills development clinics, fundraising events and exhibition matches.

Edited by Osea Bola

Feedback: oseab@fijisun.com.fj

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