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Fiji Time: 8:43 PM on Tuesday 29 July

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Northland to celebrate independence

Arin Kumar
Friday, February 10, 2012

NORTHLAND Rugby Union will celebrate next month to mark their 10th year anniversary as an independent Union.

Union chairman Simione Naiduki said a march around Gatward Park was planned to remember the formation of the union in 2002.

"The celebration will take place on Saturday, March 3 at 11pm," Naiduki said.

"It has been organised to mark a decade since the inception of the Northland Rugby Union," he said.

"Some of the names who were prominent in helping the union were Ratu Timoci Vesikula, Inia Tamani, Ilai Nabobo, Sewale Dritabua, Vili Draunikula."

He said breaking away from the Tailevu Rugby Union (TRU) was not an easy task but it turned out a success.

"Before, the people of Tailevu North used to be a big group of spectators until a few high chiefs decided that we should also play competitive rugby rather than being idle in our villages and watching games from the sideline."

"They then asked the TRU if they could break away and have a team of their own and at first, they did not allow us to break away saying it could divide the district."

"But they were assured that the intention was not to divide the district but to form a rugby team comprising villages from Tailevu North that could engage in competitive rugby."

Naiduki said since becoming a union, Northland moved from strength to strength.

"We first competed in the B-division and after winning it we won the promotion relegation against Rabi in 2003."

"2004 was the first year we played in the major division and we have remained in the major division since then."

"In 2008 we laid our hands on the Farebrother Sullivan Trophy and then in 2011 we were one of the top four teams in the National Provincial Digicel Cup competition."

He said this year's plans would be discussed at the annual general meeting scheduled to take place during the 10th anniversary celebrations.

"We are extending an invitation to the former reps of Northland and those who helped in Northland becoming an independent union to please attend the celebrations," Naiduki said.

Former national coach Ilivasi Tabua has been one of the many coaches that have contributed to Northland rugby.


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