TWO Nadroga under-20 players are set to join the Clermont Rugby Union Academy in France by mid of this month.
Under a player exchange scheme between Nadroga Rugby Union (NRU) and Clermont, these two players will leave the country on October 15 to further develop their skills and potentially secure a professional contract abroad.
NRU media liaison officer Tiko Matawalu said they would also send a coaching staff to France who would spend only two weeks there, and five senior players to join clubs in New Zealand.
Matawalu said they would reveal the names of the players and coach once they had joined their respective academy and clubs.
He said they had a partnership with Clermont which allowed the young Stallions to join their academy and boost their skills by training in a professional environment.
"Nalaga (Napolioni) went through the academy and walked into professional rugby. Looking at Nalaga's performance, Clermont decided to partner with us and start this player exchange scheme.
"This is the second year of the program and it can be extended to two more years."
Matawalu said the two U20 players joining the academy this year were the first batch after passport issues prompted the departure of the players selected last year.
He said through this scheme they hoped to help the Fiji Rugby Union in their development program for the local players and the national teams. "This is an ongoing process with our partners and they have ensured it will go a long way," the former Nadroga skipper said.
"Winning local tournaments — Digicel Cup and Farebother — it doesn't end there. We need to find avenues to develop our players so that they can make a career out of rugby and support their families."