The Roar
The Roar


Rudd helping to fund Pacific Island Rugby

Roar Pro
10th March, 2010
2550 Reads

Rugby has been the national sport of Samoa, Fiji and Tonga since the Marist Brothers introduced the sport there over 90 years ago. It is a religion and part of their culture.

And thanks to Kevin Rudd, it’s going to stay that way for years.

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has commissioned former Australian Sports Commission chief Jim Ferguson to examine options to help the Pacific through rugby, leading to a soon-to-be-finalised package of measures in a $15 million, five-year, multi-sports program.

Mr. Ferguson examined 15 options, including that of greater Pacific involvement in the Super 14.

He proposed a $6m development program that includes scholarships for Pacific players.

The final package, to be announced next month, will not involve government support of greater Pacific involvement in rugby’s Super competition. Many of the best Pacific players are more involved in European club competitions, and some Super rugby teams have long benefited from having islanders on the roster.

This investment would also add to the millions and millions of dollars the IRB give to Samoa, Tonga and Fiji rugby after every Rugby World Cup.