FOR the first time in the history of the sport, Vodafone Cup rugby league competition's grand final will be played in Ra.
Yesterday, the Fiji National Rugby League revealed the much awaited premier grade final between Sabeto Roosters and Makoi Bulldogs will be played at the Ra Sports Ground in Rakiraki.
The finals of the under-14, under-16, under-18 and reserve grade will also be played at the same venue this Saturday.
FNRL development officer Sale Tubuna told Times Sport unavailability of other major venues in Viti Levu forced the organisers to take the finals to a zone in which the sport was only one year old.
He said the FNRL was taking the matter in a positive direction with hopes of giving the newbies a taste of top level rugby league.
"All the major sporting venues in the Southern and Western divisions are booked or unavailable so we have decided to take the Vodafone Cup finals to Ra," Tubuna said.
"This is the first year that the Ra zone has taken part in the competition and earlier on we had said we wanted to expose them to good rugby league so this is our chance to do that," he said.
He said even though, the sport was new in Ra, its popularity had increased since it was introduced.
"There are four teams each from the Ra West and Ra East zones respectively in the Vodafone Cup competition but more teams have been formed and have been asking us for entry in the competition.
"They had even organised a Vanua Challenge, between Ra West and Ra East, and it was the first ever competition of that sort in the sport where two zones will challenge for a shield.
"We had said we want to further expose them to rugby league and so now we will take the final to them and they will not have to spend a lot to come and watch the more experienced teams in action."
Meanwhile, Gold Coast, Australia-based referee Gyanendra Prasad may be the man in the middle between the Roosters and Bulldogs this weekend. He has been officiating in the Gold Coast local league competition for the past four years and regularly visiting Fiji to officiate in the grand final of the Vodafone Cup for a few years now.
Tubuna said Prasad was supposed to be the referee for the final but his availability would be confirmed today.
"If he is not available, then we have capable local referees who can handle the final," he said.
In the other finals on Saturday, Lautoka Crushers will play Nadi Raiders in the under-14 grade, the Crushers' under-16 and 18 sides will face Nakasi Cowboys and Lami Steelers respectively.
Police Sharks will take on Saru Dragons in the reserve grade final.