Fiji To Make Historic Bid For Entry Into 2019 NSW Premiership
Fiji’s "historic bid" for entry into the 2019 NSW Premiership is "poised for approval in a significant step" toward ultimately fielding a National Rugby League franchise, according to Dean Ritchie of the Sydney DAILY TELEGRAPH. On the back of the national team's "stunning World Cup success," Fiji's bid team has "just about secured" the necessary A$1.5M ($1.1M) needed to enter the second-tier Australian competition. Fiji powerbrokers believe the "entire process could be approved by the end of the year." All that is left is for the bid to "receive final approval from the Fijian national rugby league." Sources are "confident" the bid would be successful because the NSW Rugby League is "looking for Fiji to replicate the same on-field magic" the Papua New Guinea Hunters brought to the Queensland Cup. The A$1.5M annual amount "would pay costs for all touring teams, including airfares and accommodation." Fiji bid members have been "canvassing sponsorship opportunities in Fiji, the Pacific and Australia." There is "already work being done to find a place to set up a training facility that includes accommodation, a gymnasium and kitchen" (DAILY TELEGRAPH, 11/19).