SPORTS

New Move To Boost Rugby League

Oceania Cup, Nines World Cup and Great Britain Lions tour all set for next year Big plans are in place for rugby league events around the country starting in 2019.
12 Nov 2018 10:00
New Move To Boost Rugby League
Rugby League International Federation participants at the congress with Fiji National Rugby League executive chairman Peni Musunamasi (third row- second from left) in York, England on November 10, 2018. Photo: Rugby League International Federation

Oceania Cup, Nines World Cup and Great Britain Lions tour all set for next year

Big plans are in place for rugby league events around the country starting in 2019.

This is going to have a big benefit for Fiji as they will play international matches against their Oceania rivals which includes Australia and New Zealand.

This Rugby League International Federation (RLIF) Board has approved in principle a rolling calendar of matches for the next eight years. The calendar will see a mix of world events, regional events and bilateral tours starting next year.

The meeting was held as a part of the RLIF Congress in York, London.

Fiji National Rugby League executive chairman Peni Musunamasi who was also present at the RLIF congress said, ‘it was a successful one’.

 

OCEANIA CUP

A highlight of the 2019 plan is the creation of the Oceania Cup featuring Australia, New Zealand and Tonga in one group while Samoa, Fiji and Papua New Guinea are in the other group.

According to RLIF, the nations also agreed that the Great Britain Rugby League Lions will visit the Southern Hemisphere to face New Zealand, Tonga, Samoa, Fiji and Papua New Guinea subject to consultation with the major playing leagues and the players’ representatives.

There are ongoing discussions to ensure that the programme for the women’s game and for wheelchair rugby league are advanced at a similar rate to the men’s game.

The RLIF board has also approved financial support for the Americas Championship and a new competition for nations in the Middle East and Africa, the MEA Championship. RLIF investment will be annual, commencing in 2019, underlining the strategic significance of and recent growth in these territories.

 

NINES WORLD CUP

“Australia will host the inaugural RLIF Nines World Cup in 2019 which will see teams from across the world gather to compete in this innovative and exciting form of the game,” stated RLIF.

“This will feature both men’s and women’s competitions.”

The programme will be punctuated every four years with the World Cup and will include the repeat of the Oceania Cup in 2020 and 2022 which will mirror the European Championship in the Northern Hemisphere. With space created for the bilateral arrangement of games and tours by the individual member nations.

RLIF chief executive Nigel Wood has welcomed the outcome saying: “The whole international rugby league world has looked to us to complete this important piece of work. The discussions this week have been extremely collaborative and positive.

“This is a complex process and if we can put all the pieces of the jig-saw into place we will have a very exciting programme.

“There is some further consultation to be undertaken with leagues and playing groups together with some important commercial evaluations before we could make final announcements, however we are confident that we can complete these discussions before Christmas.”

Sandis Tsaka, president of Papua New Guinea Rugby Football League, said: “It’s a great boost for us in Papua New Guinea to have a reliable calendar of games that we can promote to our fans, players and stakeholders.”

Todd Greenberg, CEO of the Australian Rugby League Commission, welcomed the collaboration shown in the discussions.

-Edited by Osea Bola

 

Feedback:  leonec@fijisun.com.fj

 



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