Vuvale through sport

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Australia and Fiji are teaming up for a new sports partnership that will capture the heart and spirit of Vuvale between our two countries.

Through Australia鈥檚 PacificAus Sports program, this partnership will support women and men鈥檚 rugby teams to enter Australia鈥檚 Super W competition and the Super Rugby Trans-Tasman competition as early as 2022.

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Women, Senator the Hon Marise Payne, said the partnership with Fiji Rugby Union, Rugby Australia and Oceania Rugby, will build new careers for generations of talent and attract investment to support Fiji鈥檚 response to the economic impact of COVID-19.

鈥淲hile the health security of our near neighbours remains a critical priority, sport will help facilitate the region鈥檚 cultural and economic recovery and help our countries stay connected,鈥 Minister Payne said.

鈥淧acific nations have some of the most passionate rugby communities in the world and we want to see their talent showcased on the world stage.”

Minister for International Development and the Pacific, Senator the Hon Zed Seselja, said the partnership reinforces the strong bonds between Australia and Fiji.

鈥淎ustralia and Fiji share a proud history of rugby union exchange, stretching back 70 years,鈥 Minister Seselja said.

鈥淎s friends and rivals in sport, we bring out the best in each other.鈥

This partnership builds on earlier investments by Australia to support Fijian teams to access semi-professional careers in Australia, including the Kaiviti Silktails in the NSW Ron Massey Cup.

Member for Herbert Phil Thompson said the sporting talent in the Pacific was clear from watching the PacificAus Sports Oceania Rugby Sevens.

鈥淭he quality of this tournament and the new partnership with Fiji announced today reflects the excellent relationships we have with Rugby Australia and Oceania Rugby, and their dedication to making rugby union in the Pacific the best it can be.鈥

The Australian Government has also assisted Fiji鈥檚 Olympic preparations, supporting their men鈥檚 and women鈥檚 teams to participate in this weekend鈥檚 PacificAus Sports Oceania Rugby Sevens tournament at Townsville鈥檚 Queensland Country Bank Stadium.

Rugby Australia CEO Andy Marinos welcomed Australia鈥檚 decision to support Fiji鈥檚 men鈥檚 and women鈥檚 programs, given the special status of rugby in the Fiji-Australia relationship.

鈥淲e would like to thank the Australian Government for its commitment to furthering the development of rugby in our region and for their support of this weekend鈥檚 PacificAus Sports Oceania Rugby Sevens tournament in Townsville,鈥 Mr Marinos said.

鈥淲e have had the privilege of working with the Australian Government on a number of initiatives through the PacificAus Sports program. It is a powerful tool for development pathways in the Pacific.鈥