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Huge Step Forward: PM Bainimarama

Including a Fiji team in the Australian 2017 National Rugby Championship is huge step forward for Fiji, says Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama. Bainimarama, who is also the president of the
15 Oct 2016 11:09
Huge Step Forward: PM Bainimarama
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama receives a Western Sydney Rams jersey from Vatemo Ravouvou in Sydney yesterday. Ravouvou played for the Rams this year in the Australian National Rugby Championship.

Including a Fiji team in the Australian 2017 National Rugby Championship is huge step forward for Fiji, says Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama.

Bainimarama, who is also the president of the Fiji Rugby Union, made the comment in the signing of the historic deal in Sydney yesterday which will be funded by World Rugby.

“This is an important day for Fiji and for every Fijian rugby fan,” he said.

“It is a huge step forward for Fijian rugby and I know that every Fijian will share my excitement at this development and the possibilities it opens up for our players and for our nation.

“I very much appreciate the way that World Rugby has driven this programme and provided the necessary funding to support the participation of the Fijian team.

Fiji will be the 9th team in the tournament, which starts from August 2017. Fiji will be playing four away games in Australia and more importantly for us, four home games in Fiji.

“Our local provincial competition will be completed in July with the NRC starting in August. And I am certain our local based players will be looking forward to participating in the tournament for the first time,” he said.

“We strongly believe our participation will create new pathways for our players, coaches and technical staff and most importantly, provide a new opportunities for our players to play professionally in international competition and tournaments.

“Friends, this is another important milestone for our nation and especially for the development and progress of rugby and sports in Fiji. In July, Fiji hosted our first ever Super Rugby match at the ANZ Stadium in Suva.

This year, we have also hosted the Oceania Volleyball, the Oceania Swimming and the Oceania Weightlifting Competitions. And just last week, we also successfully hosted the Fiji International Golf tournament at Natadola Bay, with some of the world’s finest golfers taking part. Into its third year, the Fiji International is now part of the European Tour. Fiji is already well and truly on the global map as a sporting destination.

“As you all know, in August, our rugby sevens team brought back gold from Rio in our first ever medal win at a summer Olympics. It was a wonderful moment that none of us will ever forget.

“Friends, to conclude, Fiji very much looks forward to our participation in the tournament next year.

“It’s going to be a wonderful spectacle for rugby fans in Fiji and Australia. Our boys will be playing their hearts out and I put everyone on notice today that they will be playing to win.”

 

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