PLANS ANNOUNCED FOR A COMBINED PACIFIC ISLANDS RUGBY TEAM

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SUVA, Fiji Islands (October 17, 2001 – Radio Australia)---Rugby officials from Fiji, Samoa and Tonga have announced plans for a combined Pacific Islands team to play New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and England next year.

The move is a bid to boost revenue for the three island unions but also gain a place in the lucrative Super 12 series.

Bob Challenor of the Fiji Rugby Union said the move has wider implications for the game:

Mr. Challenor said England has a South Pacific tour next year and he is hopeful of persuading the tourists to play a match against the combined Pacific team.

For additional reports from Radio Australia, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Radio Australia.

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