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Fiji Time: 12:24 PM on Saturday 2 August

/ Front page / Sport

RLIF chief plans big

Zanzeer Singh
Tuesday, December 13, 2011

NEWLY appointed Rugby League International Federation director Peni Musunamasi would like to see more development work carried in a bid to lift the standard of the sport in the Asia Pacific region.

Musunamasi the Fiji National Rugby League chairman was appointed to the position during the RLIF meeting in New Zealand on Tuesday.

He will represent the Asia Pacific Federation which includes Australia, New Zealand, Cook Islands, Papua New Guinea, Tonga, Samoa and Fiji.

Musunamasi said he was delighted with the appointment which came with a lot of responsibility.

He said there were a lot of untapped talents in the island nations.

"The appointment is a privilege but it comes with responsibilities," Musunamasi said.

"I'm not there for myself or Fiji but for all the countries in the region. The aim will be concentration on local development especially in the island nations. The biggest satisfaction is to see players getting good overseas contracts. For example in Fiji there are many untapped talents. They are unemployed. So getting a contract will not only benefit them but their families as well."

During the RLIF meeting the applications for new memberships from India, Philippines, Tahiti, Tokelau and American Samoa were discussed.

Musunamasi took over as chairman of the FNRL in 2002 when the Australian Rugby League pulled its plug on development funds for the island countries.

The former Fiji Bati team manager said the parent body had survived on a skeletal budget since then.

He said his appointment on the RLIF would not have been possible without the support of many individuals locally.

"I would like to thank those officials that have stuck with us through all the difficult times," Musunamasi said.

"We have managed to achieve our goals. There is a good structure in place in the two years. For the future a franchise competition is an option to make things more attractive."

FNRL general manager Steve McLellan said Musunamasi had vast experience and knowledge of the game in the region.

"For Peni this personally recognises his long serving contribution to the game," McLellan said.


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