7 November, 2017, 12:00 am
WITH the confirmation of a Fiji franchise in the New South Wales Cup competition from 2019, the hunt is on for a venue where the side will live and train.
Former Fiji Bati captain Petero Civoniceva, who has been working on the bid for the past three years, said they had a look at possible venues in Suva, Sigatoka, Nadi and Lautoka but had not made a decision.
“We will have to have further discussions with the Fiji Sports Council and we also need to be mindful of other sports that would be using the facilities,” Civoniceva said.
The franchise will see 30 players contracted to play in the competition from March to September.
“We are trying to mirror what the PNG Hunters have done where they live and train at their own facilities.
“For us, we will train most of the week and there would be allowance for the players to go home and see their families.
“This will be a professional setup where they will have the best strength and conditioning coach, training and nutrition.
“I think this is groundbreaking for Fiji,” Civoniceva said.
While the NSW Cup had approved for a Fiji team to be in the competition, the delay has been in finding a corporate sponsor for the side.
“Because this will be an expensive exercise, we have to cater for all the costs of the Australian teams when they come over and play in Fiji.
“The competition has 11 Australian teams and one New Zealand team. But this is big for the development of rugby league in Fiji as this is the second best rugby league competition in Australia behind NRL,” Civoniceva said.