SPORTS

Retired Star To Help Highlands

PNG province to play in Suva’s Marist Sevens. Former Fiji Airways Flying Fijian star Seremaia Bai will be the face of a new wave of rugby sevens development in the
24 Feb 2018 11:38
Retired Star To Help Highlands
Former Flying Fijian star Seremaia Bai with the Southern Highlands Province players in Papua New Guinea who have switched their allegiance to rugby. Photo: Vueti Tupou

PNG province to play in Suva’s Marist Sevens.

Former Fiji Airways Flying Fijian star Seremaia Bai will be the face of a new wave of rugby sevens development in the Southern Highlands Province in Papua New Guinea.

While the code is virtually non-existent in the oil rich province, according to Post Courier daily newspaper, Bai in partnership with sports marketing company Game Plan Pacific, have etched a plan to promote the code and stage the Highlands Sevens Rugby inaugural PRK Souths Sevens tournament from March 9-10 at Ialibu.

Highlands Rugby Sevens CEO Jims Rekisa this week announced the exciting new challenge to break into the rugby league stronghold province.

And that project begins this week, following the arrival of the retired well-known Fijian rugby star and associate Vueti Tupou from the Rugby Academy of Fiji on Monday in Port Moresby.

The duo will bring their wealth of experience to not only help grow the sevens game in the rugby un­ion starved Highlands region. They hope to use the sport and their influ­ence to also help change mindsets and the attitudes of players.

Rekisa said the duo have joined former PNG Pukpuk star Paul Jo­seph, who is already on the ground doing the early ground work. He confirmed that prior to the tourna­ment they will stage a 12-day coach­ing clinic.

Bai said, this is to provide the ba­sics of the game.

Rekisa further confirmed that the tournament will have 10 local teams, five outside Highlands teams and the popular Black Orchids from the Autonomous Region of Bou­gainville (AROB) to bring in their wealth of experience as one of the top teams in the country.

He also confirmed that from the tournament they will name a team to take part in the highly popular re­nowned Marist Sevens in Suva from March 23-24.

He also confirmed the inclusion of popular rugby league Digicel Cup coach Andy Andiki as the coach of the Highlanders representative team.

Rekisa further acknowledged nam­ing rights sponsor of the tourna­ment in Petroleum Resources Kutu­bu, and in particular directors John Kapi-Natto and Johnny Yawari for supporting the concept.

Edited by Grace Narayan

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