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Rugby prospects sought across Pacific isles

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, August 9, 2009) – Sporting talent from around the Pacific are being offered world class scholarships in Dubai, preparing them for the professional sports world.

The first US$70,000 per year Elite Sporting Academy Pasefika Scholarships will be awarded to young rugby and soccer players.

The Academy’s lawyer Andrew Fa’avale-Tuala says there are only two rugby and two soccer scholarships this time, but he hopes the number will go to double figures in the future.

He says the feedback from the community has been positive.

"We’ve had massive applications throughout the Pacific, especially from Fiji and Samoa. Basically parents just see this as an opportunity for their kids to get a top notch education as well as just getting out of their comfort zone and getting top coaching every day so it’s going to be a really professional outfit."

A team from the academy will be hitting Suva, Nadi, Apia, Samoa, Auckland, and Wellington to test promising players.

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