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World Rugby Committee, McCaw Review Game, Meet PM, ONOC

Pacific Island nations Fiji, Tonga and Samoa will make presentations to the Rugby Committee in Nadi on Monday. And the committee, one of the important councils of World Rugby, will
12 Jun 2016 11:58
World Rugby Committee, McCaw Review  Game, Meet PM,  ONOC

Pacific Island nations Fiji, Tonga and Samoa will make presentations to the Rugby Committee in Nadi on Monday.

And the committee, one of the important councils of World Rugby, will also meet the Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama, who is also the president of the Fiji Rugby Union, and the Oceania National Olympic Committees to discuss the global health and future of the game in the Pacific Islands.

This is the first time the committee is meeting in the Pacific Islands and Fiji is the ideal location since it coincides with the hosting the 2016 Pacific Nations Cup in Suva.

“The island nations will be making their presentation at the Sofitel Resort and Spa in Nadi on Monday,” Fiji Rugby Union chief executive officer John O’Connor confirmed.

“It’s an important meeting since this is the first time that it will be held in the Pacific Islands and we’re fortunate to host a top delegation from World Rugby.”

Chaired by former Scotland and British Lions flanker, John ‘White Shark’ Jeffry, the committee includes incoming World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont, Augustin Pichot (Argentina), Pat Whelan (Ireland), Mark Robinson (New Zealand), Giancarlo Dondi (Italy), Rachel Burford (England) and Nick Mallet (South Africa).  Two-time Rugby World Cup-winning captain Richie McCaw will be the players’ representative on the committee.

World Rugby has reaffirmed its commitment to the global development of the game in the Pacific by providing £4 million in 2016 for the tournament, trainings and development.

The committee will also examine the opportunities and challenges facing Pacific Islands’ rugby and consider the high performance and competition requirements of Fiji, Samoa and Tonga within the current global calendar review.

In April, World Rugby, the Tonga Rugby Union (TRU) and the Tongan Government agreed a package of reforms designed to address ongoing governance concerns within the union and support the future sustainable growth of rugby in Tonga.

In addition the three nations will not be represented on the World Rugby council until they meet criteria like providing five years of independently audited accounts and annual general meeting minutes to satisfy requirements.

Beaumont said: “Rugby is currently experiencing significant global participation and the game is in excellent shape.

“However, as we grow we must ensure that our unions remain strong, sustainable and competitive and World Rugby is committed to working in partnership with the Pacific Islands to ensure that objective is achieved.

“We have a new and inclusive governance model and have a clear pathway for unions to join Council.”

Mr Jeffry added: “The Pacific Islands continue to contribute so much to the global game and we look forward to furthering the discussions that we have had with each of the unions to move towards strengthening the governance of the game in the islands.

“I would like to thank the Fiji Rugby Union and Fijian Government for their support of hosting these important meetings and anticipate highly-constructive and positive discussions.”

This is a good forum for the island nations to put their house in order. We need to be part of the global growth of the game; we can’t afford to be left behind.

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