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NRL career hope for local players

Geraldine Panapasa
Wednesday, August 27, 2014

LOCAL rugby league players will have to adapt and lift their game to a higher level if they hope to pursue a career in the big league.

Former professional rugby league player Petero Civoniceva, who had been instrumental in securing endorsements for Fiji's bid to participate in the New South Wales Cup Competition in 2016, said this was a work in progress.

"It's very much underway. We are talking to a number of potential corporate sponsors and partners.

"It's all about creating pathways for our young rugby league players to hopefully have a NRL career.

"If not, it'll mean the strengthening of rugby league competition in Fiji because we'll see a rise in the standard of competition. It is an ongoing process and we're going to work really hard to make it happen. I'm confident we can do it."

Civoniceva said they had a 26-week competition, which would mean 13 games in Suva and 13 games in Sydney.

He said the Australian rugby league community was excited about a potential Fijian team playing in the domestic Australian competition.

"It's only a tentative green light. We have to meet certain standards and criteria before we get the go-ahead but for most parts it's looking very positive.

"We're hopeful that Fijian businesses and the community can see what it can bring to Fiji and everyone gets behind it and supports it."

While the Fijian franchise would be run by Civoniceva and Greg Browne, FNRL chairman Reverend Immanuel Reuben said earlier FNRL would only supply players to the club, which would be known as the Fiji NSWRL Bid Team.

He said the best players from the Top 8 competition would be part of the club, adding the home ground of the team would be at the ANZ Stadium in the Capital City.

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