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Futtocks

Fiji Talent Search

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You can't say for certain that Tamou would have chosen New Zealand over Australia. There have been several players chosen for the Kangaroos in the last few years before they had played Origin so it's status as a Test trial has been dimished.

That's not quite true.....they had signed up for Australia (as it is a condition of being available for SOO) and the Aussie jersey happened to come first. This was the case for Tamou iirc.

It was crystal clear that it was the lure of the NSW cap (and cash) that made Tamou sign for Australia. The entire sage was played out for weeks and the various interviews made it clear that it was a NSW jersey being weighed against an NZ cap. Not a good look for the game in my opinion. The current ruling would not let allow it to happen. I accept that he could still play for Australia but without SOO as a sweetener I am 100% sure he would currently be a NZ international.

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I thought union was the preferred code in Fiji, but the way they play the game they look much more suited to league- they have an outstanding 7s side, but are poor at 15 a side. They all seem to be natural runners and athletes. If you want to expand RL, the Pacific islands would be a pretty good place to go- Samoans are more than a little bit useful too

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I thought union was the preferred code in Fiji, but the way they play the game they look much more suited to league- they have an outstanding 7s side, but are poor at 15 a side. They all seem to be natural runners and athletes. If you want to expand RL, the Pacific islands would be a pretty good place to go- Samoans are more than a little bit useful too

Rugby Union is the established code in Fiji, but there have been links with Rugby League ever since Rochdale signed a couple of players in the early Sixties. Since then, there have been some very notable players either of Fijian birth or parentage who have graced the game.

It does seem that a more concerted effort is being made these days, which is long overdue. The latest being North Queensland Cowboys, who have recently sent a delegation, looking to set up links with their Nausori namesakes and the local schools.

It's a matter of getting the people who matter to show the willingness to get into and maintain contact with the people who matter in Fiji, Samoa, Tonga etc. and that's something that hasn't always been the case.

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Rugby Union is the established code in Fiji, but there have been links with Rugby League ever since Rochdale signed a couple of players in the early Sixties. Since then, there have been some very notable players either of Fijian birth or parentage who have graced the game.

It does seem that a more concerted effort is being made these days, which is long overdue. The latest being North Queensland Cowboys, who have recently sent a delegation, looking to set up links with their Nausori namesakes and the local schools.

It's a matter of getting the people who matter to show the willingness to get into and maintain contact with the people who matter in Fiji, Samoa, Tonga etc. and that's something that hasn't always been the case.

I know people always say that the NRL should be behind development in the Southern Hemisphere, but really it should be the RLIF or the local equivalent of RLEF getting into Fiji and the likes.

Which leads me to ask, whatever happened to the Asia-Pacific Rugby League Federation? Weren't they supposed to have been set up to drive devlopment across this region? All we ever hear about is piecemeal efforts by individuals or clubs.

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I know people always say that the NRL should be behind development in the Southern Hemisphere, but really it should be the RLIF or the local equivalent of RLEF getting into Fiji and the likes.

Which leads me to ask, whatever happened to the Asia-Pacific Rugby League Federation? Weren't they supposed to have been set up to drive devlopment across this region? All we ever hear about is piecemeal efforts by individuals or clubs.

Being the operative word.

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Maybe the only way to get anything done is for the clubs to do it in the process of furthering their own interests.

To be honest, given the potential talent in the Polynesian and Melanesian islands, this should have been started years ago, like when Noa Nadruku's talent hinted at what might be available if Fiji was nurtured as a source of talent.

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Maybe the only way to get anything done is for the clubs to do it in the process of furthering their own interests.

To be honest, given the potential talent in the Polynesian and Melanesian islands, this should have been started years ago, like when Noa Nadruku's talent hinted at what might be available if Fiji was nurtured as a source of talent.

I wouldn't suggest that clubs shouldn't be doing anything, because anything that furthers the development of RL anywhere should rightly be applauded, but we've seen so many times before where clubs have announced partnerships or devlopments with overseas organisations to nurture talent, but after a while the club will lose interest through lack of time, money and presumably patience. We've seen this happen numerous times in both hemispheres.

And to be fair to the clubs themselves, I don't think we should be expecting them to drive development in new areas. Governing bodies should be doing it. And as you suggest, the likes of Fiji aren't new to RL, and that's what makes it all the more frustrating that the game in the souhern hemisphere, despite all its riches, still can't get some sort of proper development programme going in the one region of the world where we could be virtually guaranteed a good level of success and a good return for our money. No development programme in place and there's still no proper international calendar in place for the Pacific Island sides outside of World Cups.

Meanwhile, all the RLIF appear to have done recently is follow the NZRL and the NRL in banning shoulder charges. All I could find out about the Asia-Pacific Federation was that they're based in Auckland and they had a meeting in December 2011. Very productive.

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Titans show Fiji interest

NATIONAL Rugby League (NRL) club Gold Coast Titans has shown interest in recruiting Fijian youngsters and turning them into stars in the NRL competition.

The club has shown interest in investing in the sport in Lautoka.

In a letter written to Mesake Navugona, the manager of the Lautoka Crushers club, Titans general manager Scott Clark said they were aiming to open a recruitment pathway opportunities for young Fijians to their club.

"The region we would like to focus on and foster a relationship with is the Lautoka region," Clarke said.

"We believe this is a region rich in young talent and an area that could benefit from the professional programs that we can put in place," he said.

Titans commitment will involve provision of playing jerseys, shorts, socks and training and coaching equipment.

Also selected Titans coaching, development and recruitment staff will travel to Fiji twice a year to assist with coaching camps, talent scout and attend rugby league carnivals focusing on players from 15 to 18 years of age.

The club will also provide expert tuition for coaches, establish relationships with main league/union schools in the region as well as provide assistance with education and welfare programs and explore the possibility of a pre-season trial game in Fiji.

In return, Lautoka's commitments will involve their staff assisting with camps, clinics and recruitment and naming any rugby league they run will be named in conjunction with Gold Coast Titans.

Also the Titans will have the primary opportunity to recruit from the region.

Fiji National Rugby League general manager Tomi Finau confirmed receiving the letter and said they were interested in the opportunity.

He said Fijian talent was in huge demand and the Titans would become the second club after North Queensland Cowboys to initiate such a partnership.

"We welcome any expression of interest from NRL clubs as it gives us an opportunity to strengthen our relationships with them," Finau said.

"Not only can we learn about the sport from them but we can also learn about the administration of rugby league from them," he said.

He said they would properly go through the letter once again and have a good discussion before they make any decisions.

"This is something that is in the best interest for the players in Fiji and we are definitely interested in holding further talks with them (Titans)," Finau said.

http://www.fijitimes.com

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