Over 100 Fijian players from Vodafone Cup have moved to Australia in the past 24 months

Over 100 Fijian players from Vodafone Cup have moved to Australia in the past 24 months

By Mikaele Liga
Wednesday 15/05/2024

Over 100 Fijian players from the Vodafone Cup have moved to Australia to play rugby league in city and country regions over the past 24 months.

This was highlighted by the Fiji National Rugby League Chief Executive Officer Don Natabe during the launch of the 2024 Vodafone Cup Competition at Albert Park this morning.

Natabe says this is a promising statistic that demonstrates the power of rugby league in Fiji and they are targeting to double that number in the next 18 months.

He says Fiji, as a proud and resilient sporting nation, stood together in tougher times and now they have a wonderful opportunity to once again show unity in supporting grassroots development in our country.

He adds the FNRL board has set a strategy in tandem with the participating clubs this year and will soon set in motion the steps to realising their aspirations to make FNRL an iconic organisation and rugby league a sport of choice in Fiji.

Natabe says over 230 matches will be played over the next 360 weeks around Fiji and they are also proud to announce the official resumption of the junior rugby league competitions from the 8-year-olds to elite premierships.

Vodafone Head of Recharge and Distribution, Nilesh Singh, says nothing is greater than their dedication and passion for the monetary funding for the future of the sport and building a viable career for those who want to become professionals.

Singh acknowledged the Australian government and the FNRL for allowing these players to follow their dreams.

Australian High Commission, Deputy Secretary Political, Scott Robertson says Australia and Fiji have an enduring relationship and a shared passion for sports, especially rugby league.

He says there is no greater demonstration of our vuvale partnership and on the sporting field.

He adds every weekend, members of the Fijian and other Pacific communities go out to watch community rugby league matches across Australia.

Robertson says later this year, they are looking forward to Fiji hosting the Pacific Championships and the Australian Government is proud to support Fiji in this journey through Pacific AusSports.

There will be a total of 30 senior men's and 8 senior women’s teams contesting in the national premiership this year.

The Vodafone FNRL Competition is expected to kick off later this month.

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