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Rugby’s Our Game: PM

World Rugby applauded for strengthening game in the Pacific Islands   Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama stressed the importance of rugby in our national life during the Rugby Committee meeting in
14 Jun 2016 10:16
Rugby’s Our Game: PM
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama hand over the gift to World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont during the meeting at Sofitel Fiji Resort and Spa last night. Photo: WAISEA NASOKIA

World Rugby applauded for strengthening game in the Pacific Islands

 

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama stressed the importance of rugby in our national life during the Rugby Committee meeting in Nadi yesterday.

And the Fijian Rugby Union president applauded World Rugby for hosting the high-profile meeting for the first time in the Pacific Islands.

“There are few places in the world where the country’s leader is also the president of the rugby union,”he said.

“But that is the case in Fiji and I’m very proud because it reflects the importance of rugby in our national life and the value we place here in paradise on the game they play in heaven.’

“It’s a great honour to host the first ever meeting in the Pacific Islands of the Rugby Committee. Just as it is an honour to host the union reps from Tonga and Samoa, Fiji’s rivals in the Pacific Nations Cup but above all our neighbours and friends.

“It was a wonderful game in Suva last Saturday and for Fiji, an uncomfortably close score – 23-18. We certainly look forward to meeting Samoa this weekend.

“But while we all play to win as individual nations, it is the health of rugby in our region that ultimately binds us together.

“And we appreciate the importance that is being attached by World Rugby to strengthening the game in the islands.

“This meeting has been an important part of that effort, including the presentation of our high performance and competition reports. You’ve been able to hear not only from the three regional unions but the newly established Pacific Island Players’ Association.

“And this renewed emphasis on the needs of our players is reflected on the committee itself with the choice of Richie McCaw as the players’ representative. Rugby greats don’t come any greater than Richie and it’s been wonderful to again welcome him to Fiji.

“It’s a great era for rugby in the Pacific in both the 15s and the 7s and the game has never been stronger or more popular. My Government has contributed $2million towards bringing the Super Rugby to Fiji for the first time and we all look forward to the Crusaders and the Chiefs going head to head at the ANZ Stadium on July 1.

Beyond that, every Fijian, of course, is hoping our Vodafone Fijian 7s team can bring back our first gold medal from the Rio Olympics in August.

“I want to thank World Rugby for financing the Pacific Nations Cup and for everything else you are doing to strengthen the game, including improving our standards of governance. I can assure you of the full support of both the Fiji Rugby Union and the Fijian Government for this programme of reform.”

Feedback:  oseab@fijisun.com.fj

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