The Fiji Times

Silktails prepare for rugby league debut


KAVITI Silktails have been undergoing training before Christmas and the are looking at a total of eight weeks of preparatio­n before the team plays its first match.

This was confirmed by former Vodafone Fiji Bati skipper at the 2013 Rugby League World Cup Petero Civoniceva as he disclosed the Kaiviti Silktails preparatio­ns as the team gears up for the 2020 Ron Massey Cup Championsh­ips scheduled for March.

“Our playing group comprises of players who play in the Vodafone Fiji sponsored Fiji National Rugby League competitio­n so I guess that is the big focus for us as a club providing local rugby league players a wonderful opportunit­y to play in an Australian competitio­n but also see it as a developmen­t pathway for the Fiji National Rugby League in enabling that our local players are given opportunit­ies for National Rugby League clubs.

“We have seen many of our Fijian boys hit the big time in the NRL – players like Maika Sivo, Suliasi Vunivalu, Viliame Kikau; we had Semi Radradra before and these are boys playing at the highest level and have progressed to become NRL stars.

“This is what we are envisaging for our Silktails team and it is going to become a very important pathway for our local players.

“Very exciting times ahead. It is exciting for us to create this sporting franchise but also we are aiming to develop the local coaches. Trainers and all the elements of the sporting teams. What you see on the field we have to see a very important part of developing our staff off the field as well. We know that we have a very important part in progressin­g rugby league in the future and obviously making a tier one nation in rugby league.

“We are looking at creating some theme rounds in the competitio­n. One of the major events on the Australian calendar is the ANZAC Day game. We are hoping to create that here as well playing the Australian team but also to celebrate and honoring our armed forces both men and women. Australia has a proud history with their ANZAC Day game so we are looking forward to bringing that here. Also we want to have a strong focus on women in and around our sport. We will have a women’s league which will be in around August of this year where our players will don jersey’s that support our game.”

The Kaiviti Silktails is the first

Fiji rugby league team playing in an Australian competitio­n.

The Ron Massey Cup competitio­n is a semi-profession­al developmen­t level rugby league competitio­n in New South Wales, Australia which is run jointly by the New South Wales Rugby League (NSWRL) and the Country Rugby League of New South Wales (CRL).

The 2020 Ron Massey Cup competitio­n will be the 8th season of the semi-profession­al developmen­t level rugby league competitio­n in New South Wales. The competitio­n is administer­ed by New South Wales Rugby League and it is anticipate­d that the draws will be released in the first 10 days of March and set to conclude in late September.

Fijian duo Eparama Navale a winger and Vodafone Fiji Bati representa­tive and Henry Raiwalui’s Minor Premiers Wentworthv­ille Magpies created history last year by winning their third straight NSWRL Ron Massey Cup Premiershi­p defeating second placed St Mary’s in the Grand Final 32-14 at Leichhardt Oval. They were tied 8 all at the break.

Eparama Navale scored a try in the huge win.

St Mary’s also lost 38-4 to the same opposition in 2018. 11 clubs within the Sydney metropolit­an area participat­ed in the 2019 NSWRL Ron Massey Cup Premiershi­p which concluded in late September.

 ?? Picture: ELIKI NUKUTABU ?? Members of the Kaiviti Silktail rugby league during a training session at Buckhurst Park in Suva.
Picture: ELIKI NUKUTABU Members of the Kaiviti Silktail rugby league during a training session at Buckhurst Park in Suva.

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