The Kaiviti Silktails rugby league team will depart Fiji for Australia today for the 2021 Ron Massey Cup.
In Australia, the Silktails will be based in Sydney for the entire 2021 season, playing their home fixtures at Mascot Oval.
Silktails head coach and former Fiji Bati captain Wes Naqaima has the team primed and ready to go.
“After the disappointment of having the 2020 Ron Massey Cup cancelled due to the Coronavirus pandemic after just one match, the team are grateful for the opportunity to be based in Sydney in order to participate in the 2021 comp,” he said.
Chairman of the Kaiviti Silktails and Bati legend, Petero Civoniceva said, “the Silktails could not have done this without the support from the New South Wales Government, the PacificAus Sports program and the Australian High Commission.”
“The Silktails are keen to capitalise on the momentum rugby league has built in Fiji through the Vodafone Cup and the Silktails Elite Development Program. Playing a full season of the Ron Massey Cup is a crucial next step for our club as we aspire to play in the Canterbury Cup in future years while providing a clear pathway for talented Fijians to play rugby league in Australia.”
Australian High Commissioner, John Feakes said, “As the first-ever Fijian team to compete in the Ron Massey Cup, the Kaiviti Silktails have already made history for rugby league in Fiji. I wish Petero, the coach, support staff and the boys all the best in the competition.”
The team, their coaches and support staff will observe all the Australian Government and New South Wales Government requirements for entry into Australia and subsequent compulsory quarantine period. Silktails management are committed to the health and wellbeing of their players, of the teams, they will play against in the Ron Massey Cup, and the broader Australian community.
After the 2020 season was cancelled, PacificAus Sports continued to support the Silktails by retaining key Silktails staff, upgrading the Silktails Centre of Excellence, establishing a training facility in Sigatoka, supporting Fijian clubs’ participation in the 2020 Fiji National Rugby League competition and helping to secure a place for the Silktails in the 2021 Ron Massey Cup.
PacificAus Sports is a flagship program of Australia’s Sport Diplomacy 2030 strategy. The program has three broad objectives: to develop pathways for Pacific teams to play in high-level Australian sporting competitions; to support Australian teams to increase their presence and participation in the Pacific; and to create pathways for emerging Pacific athletes to benefit from Australia’s high-performance coaching and training.
Photo: Australian High Commission in Suva