Australian Prime Minister’s XIII to play in Suva

The Australian Prime Minister’s XIII will tour Fiji in October. Picture: SUPPLIED/DAILY TELEGRAPH

IN strengthening its continued relationship with Fiji, the National Rugby League (NRL) has confirmed that the Australian Prime Minister’s XIII will tour Fiji in October.

The reason is to acknowledge that we have a big footprint across the Pacific so we want to be able to take big games into the Pacific,” said NRL Pacific Projects manager Michael Asensio.

Traditionally held in Papua New Guinea, this will be the first time the annual Prime Minister’s XIII tour comes to Fiji.

“We also want to create some excitement for the game as well as awareness for the good work that we are doing below that,” Asensio said.

Apart from providing exciting football for the public of Fiji, the Australian team also brings with them a message.

“For the last few years the theme has been: Strong men respect women, so we do voice against violence workshops not only with the elite players but with the 16 to 19-year-old youths in the community.”

Asensio said it would be an opportune moment for both countries as they look to strengthen an already secured bond through this first-time event.

“We are neighbours (Fiji and Australia), we both got a love of sport and an event like this brings us two together,” he said.

“And it starts the conversation whether it’s at the high end between governments talking or just people to people”.

The PM’s XIII, which is a representative rugby league team formed from Australian players in NRL clubs who miss out on qualifying for the NRL Finals, and will play the Vodafone Fiji Bati in Suva.

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