THE Flying Fijians have backed the formation of the Pacific Islands Player Association (PIPA) which will confirm its existence this week.
PIPA, which will formalise the arrangement between players from Fiji, Tonga and Samoa, has been in development since last November.
Flying Fijians team manager Joseph Browne said it was an achievement for the regional players.
"This direction is really a positive development in particularly for the professional rugby players," he said.
"It will help protect their welfare and also protect the welfare of the unions that meet the cost of player development, that there is obligation that ensure the resources provided by the associations are not wasted and it also protects the players from unscrupulous deed inspired by whoever."
According to the New Zealand Herald, the tipping point for PIPA's development came last November following allegations by ex-All Black Simon Mannix that his former club Racing Metro paid Fijian players to rest during the 2011 World Cup.
"PIPA will enable us to sustain player welfare and good governance over the Pacific Islands' game. It creates a support network where we can work in partnership with the unions and the IRB (International Rugby Board) to capitalise on the region's unique talent," International Rugby Players' Association member services manager Josh Blackie told the NZ Herald.
Former Flying Fijians skipper Deacon Manu played a pivotal role in formation of PIPA.