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Test series

Emoni Narawa
Tuesday, July 22, 2014

A POSSIBLE Pacific Tri-Series tournament against Pacific Island counterparts Samoa and Tonga is in the pipeline for the Vodafone Fiji Bati rugby league side.

This was revealed by Fiji National Rugby League chairman Reverend Immanuel Reuben.

Last week, Reuben returned from Samoa to discuss the possibility of organising a tournament for the three island nations. He said playing Samoa and Tonga would be a huge boost to Fiji's campaign, building up to the Rugby League World Cup.

"I just came back from Samoa to discuss the possibility of having a Tri-Series tournament," he said.

"This is against our neighbours, Samoa and Tonga. I have met with the Toa Samoa officials and I'm yet to meet with our Tongan counterparts on the possibility of organising this tournament.

"There are positive discussions with the Samoan officials and hopefully we'll be successful in organising this tournament."

He said the matches should help develop the three teams prepare for the upcoming RLWC.

Reuben said the initiative was to give Pacific Islanders players more game time at international level.

The Fiji Bati side repeated its 2008 RLWC feat last year when it reached the semi-finals for the second time in two consecutive world cups. Samoa lost to Fiji during the 2013 RLWC quarter-final in London while Tonga lost at pool stages.

However, Samoa avenged its RLWC loss when it defeated Fiji to qualify for the Four Nations Championship against heavyweights, New Zealand, England and world champions the Australian Kangaroos.

Reuben said the pathway to the next RLWC starts now.

"This Tri-Series should help the three teams gauge their performance and develop a suitable program building up to the world cup.

"Our players will be exposed to another level. It will not only help us but the other two teams as well, so I'm looking forward to meeting with the Tonga officials and hopefully we get a positive discussion about this matter."





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