24 March, 2018, 12:00 am
PACIFIC Island rugby players are in demand from clubs in Australia, New Zealand and France, says World Rugby high performance general manager, Peter Horne.
Horne heads the Pacific Combine team project. It is made up of 30 players selected from Tonga, Samoa and Fiji during the recent World Rugby Pacific Challenge in Suva.
The players have been in camp for one week before the best players will be chosen for Super Rugby clubs, ITM Cup, Mitre 10 in New Zealand and clubs in the Australia National Rugby Championship (NRC).
The players had a scrimmaging session yesterday at Albert Park, Suva.
“We split the players into two teams and they had an opportunity to show their skills and talents. We saw some good play,” Horne said.
“We will talk to the players about provincial unions and clubs interested in potentially to look at contract situations.
“In the next two or three weeks, we will look for the best opportunities for them that are out there.”
Horne was grateful for the assistance granted by Fiji Rugby Union and the Fiji Government.
“The players performed well. Fiji has turned up in good condition and their academy program is bearing fruits,” Horne said.
“Fiji has now got a pathway where they have daily training programs.”