- Fiji News
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By MERE NALEBA
Today’s arrival of new Fiji passports is going to be the turning point for some Nadroga rugby players who have been wanted by the French based- ASM Clermont rugby club.
Four players were selected to travel to France as part of an exchange programme between the Nadroga Rugby Union and the French based- club, but the delay in passport had affected the progress of the programme.
French coaches Freddie Marso and Frederic Sciavaud were in the country earlier in the month, conducting coaching clinics in schools around the Nadroga province.
“The idea is to supply players so they could be further developed to become professionals, which would benefit both the ASM Clermont club and Nadroga rugby but most importantly to the player and his future,” Nadroga Rugby Union official Jikoibau Matawalu said.
Matawalu is confident that the tour by Marso and Sciavaud is crucial to the development of rugby at grassroots level.
“You can see the standard that Nadroga has set for Fiji rugby as a whole, and how teams are working hard to reach greater heights. We have seen how Tailevu defeated Nadroga in the Digicel Cup clash at Ratu Cakobau. Nadroga needs to work extra harder to remain on top and other teams will even work harder this is in itself lifting rugby in the country to its highest level,” he said.
Just into its second year, the programme is already being seen to be a success even though no Fijian player has visited France through the programme, but French officials have been in the country twice already in the last year scouting players for attachment at their club.
“We had two young players who were supposed to go last year but passport problems were the greatest hindrance.
“We have another two being selected to go this year again, we have to see if their passports can be done in time,” he said.
Matawalu is confident the partnership would provide exciting results and positive outcomes for their players, Nadroga Rugby Union and as well as Fiji Rugby.