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  1. #1
    Administrator DIEHARD's Avatar
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    Default 2023 Pacific Championships

    NRL announce 2023 Pacific Championships
    https://www.nrl.com/news/2023/08/16/...championships/

    The Australian Rugby League Commission has announced details of a Pacific Championships involving international men’s and women’s matches in October and November this year.

    The Commission has also announced a partnership with the Australian Government in order to promote and develop Rugby League in the Pacific through the Championships.

    The Albanese Government will partner with the NRL to ensure Pacific Championships matches can be played in the Pacific, enabling players to play in front of their loyal local fans.

    Six men’s teams and seven women’s teams will take part in the 2023 tournament across two pools, which will begin on October 14. The men’s tournaments will culminate in finals in Hamilton, New Zealand, and Port Moresby on November 4-5.

    The 2023 Championships will include two match days in Australia, two in New Zealand and four in Papua New Guinea (PNG).

    2023 Pacific Championships Schedule

    Week One – October 14-15
    Australia v Samoa (men) at Queensl
    and Country Bank Stadium, Townsville
    Australia v New Zealand (women) at Queensland Country Bank Stadium Townsville
    PNG v Cook Islands (men) at Santos Stadium, Port Moresby
    Samoa v Fiji (women) at Santos Stadium, Port Moresby

    Week Two – October 21-22
    New Zealand v Samoa (men) at Eden Park, Auckland
    New Zealand v Tonga (women) at Eden Park, Auckland
    Fiji v Cook Islands (men) at Santos Stadium, Port Moresby
    PNG v Cook Islands (women) at Santos Stadium, Port Moresby

    Week Three – October 28-29
    Australia v New Zealand (men) at AAMI Park, Melbourne
    Australia v New Zealand (women) at AAMI Park, Melbourne
    PNG v Fiji (men) at Santos Stadium, Port Moresby

    Week Four – November 4-5
    The Final of the men’s Pacific Cup tournament on November 4 in Hamilton, New Zealand
    The Final of the men’s Pacific Bowl tournament on November 5 at Santos Stadium, Port Moresby

    The Pacific Championships will be staged in 2023 and 2024, after the NRL and NRLW Premiership seasons, and will include men’s and women’s teams from Australia, New Zealand, Samoa, Tonga, Papua New Guinea, Fiji and Cook Islands.

    “The Commission’s focus on growing the international game will combine with an equally strong desire to grow rugby league in the Pacific,” ARLC Commissioner the Hon Kate Jones said.

    “I’d like to thank Prime Minister the Hon Anthony Albanese for his personal support of Rugby League in the Pacific, alongside the Hon Pat Conroy, the Federal Minister for International Development and the Pacific, as well as the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

    “The 2023 Pacific Championships will showcase the best of international Rugby League in matches across three countries. Importantly, the international matches will be highlighted by both men’s and women’s matches.

    “The southern hemisphere tournaments will deliver on the broader NRL Pacific Strategy objectives – to create pathways for aspiring athletes, coaches, referees and administrators from the Pacific along with further growing international Rugby League.”

    The partnership with the Australian Government will facilitate the development of high-performance pathways for Pacific athletes, coaches, referees and administrators, and continue to build a strong sports economy in the region.

    “The Pacific Championships mark the beginning of an exciting new phase of international rugby league competition in the Pacific for both women and men,” Prime Minister the Hon Anthony Albanese MP said.

    Geography makes us neighbours, but through sport we build strong and lasting ties across the Pacific family.

    Prime Minister, the Hon Anthony Albanese MP
    Minister for International Development and the Pacific, the Hon Pat Conroy MP added: “Given around half the players in the NRL are of Pasifika heritage, and our shared love of sport, this Competition will bring people from across the Pacific even closer together.

    “The Championships will provide a new opportunity for athletes in the Pacific to play and develop professionally, and will inspire a generation of girls and boys across our region.”

    NZRL CEO Greg Peters said: “To bring the best players in the world back home to play in front of their communities is special.

    “International rugby league is in an exciting new era, and we are privileged in New Zealand to witness first-hand how much this game means to our Māori and Pasifika communities.

    Having the Pacific Championships locked in for the next two years is extremely exciting and undoubtedly will inspire the next generation of world-class players from all nations.

    NZRL CEO Greg Peters
    “No other code can produce such celebrations of culture and passion; the Eden Park and Waikato atmospheres will be unmissable.”

    Tickets for matches in Australia will be released in September.
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  2. #2
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    Dave Mead to be Holbrooks assistant. Not confirmed yet. He is spending half his life over in PNG atm. Employed by the Broncos he has a thousand things going on. I don’t know how he crams everything into 24hrs. He is one of the busiest, hardest workers I know. Yet still finds time to be a family man. I don’t think he sleeps.

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    Alick not picked for PNG: injured or the Holbrook factor?
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    Three Test newcomers among Jillaroos squad
    https://www.nrl.com/news/2023/10/03/...championships/

    Tamika Upton is set to cap off her stellar season with an international debut after being named as part of a 21-player squad by Harvey Norman Jillaroos coach Brad Donald for the upcoming 2023 Pacific Championships.

    After helping Newcastle clinch back-to-back NRLW premierships with a Karyn Murphy Medal-winning performance, the 2023 Dally M medallist joins Emma Manzelmann and Jess Elliston as the three new faces in the green and gold, following on from their World Cup success last November.

    Yasmin Clydsdale and Caitlan Johnston are included after their Grand Final success with the Knights, while five players have been named from the runner-up Titans with Shaylee Bent, Lauren Brown, Jaime Chapman, Shannon Mato and Evania Pelite all joining Elliston in the extended squad.

    All up nine of the 10 NRLW clubs are represented in the squad following the competition expanding in 2023.

    “The expanded NRLW premiership has been an outstanding success this year and we will now see the best of the best represent the Jillaroos,” ARLC Chairman Mr Peter V’landys AM said.

    “I’d like to congratulate all of these players who thoroughly deserve their selection and will now proudly wear the Australian colours in an exciting tournament for the international game.”

    Having gone equal with the now retired Sam Bremner last year at the top of the all-time try-scoring list for the Jillaroos, Roosters centre Isabelle Kelly will have the chance to move into the outright lead during this campaign.

    She is selected alongside club teammates Tarryn Aiken, Keeley Davis, Olivia Kernick and Jessica Sergis, with the latter set to overcome the fractured finger which kept her out of the back end of the NRLW season to take part.

    Broncos veteran Ali Brigginshaw is the most experienced player in the group and joins winger Julia Robinson as the only players selected from the Broncos.

    The Jillaroos face the Kiwi Ferns in Townsville on October 14 before meeting them again in Melbourne a fortnight later, marking the first time the trans-Tasman rivals have met since Australia beat New Zealand 54-4 in last year's World Cup final.
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    Kangaroos name four debutants for Pacific Championships
    https://www.nrl.com/news/2023/10/03/...onships-squad/

    Gallagher Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga has named four debutants and eight grand finalists as part of a 21-man squad for the upcoming 2023 Pacific Championships which kicks off on October 14.

    Rookie Broncos trio Selwyn Cobbo, Thomas Flegler and Kotoni Staggs have been named for their first Kangaroos campaign alongside teammates Payne Haas and Patrick Carrigan, while three-time premiership-winners Nathan Cleary, Isaah Yeo and Liam Martin have once again been named in the squad.

    The Panthers trio were all part of the Kangaroos' successful World Cup victory last November, with Meninga retaining 16 players in his Pacific Championships squad.

    Dolphins fullback Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow, who played centre for Queensland in their Origin series win earlier this year, is the other debutant in the squad.

    James Tedesco will once again captain the side alongside Roosters teammate Lindsay Collins, with Dragons captain Ben Hunt likely to split the hooking role with Storm rake Harry Grant as they did in last year's World Cup campaign.

    Meninga said the squad included a good mix of incumbent players and those who have performed well for club and state in 2023.

    “The quality we saw in the regular season, the State of Origin series and the Finals Series means we have been able to put together an outstanding squad,” Meninga said.

    “The squad has a healthy blend of representatives from last year’s World Cup, as well as others who have performed extremely well over the course of the season.”

    Australia will play its first game of the Pacific Championships against Samoa in Townsville on October 14 before taking on New Zealand in Melbourne on October 28. The final of the tournament will be played the following week in Hamilton.

    Gallagher Kangaroos squad

    Josh Addo-Carr (Bulldogs)
    Patrick Carrigan (Broncos)
    Daly Cherry-Evans (Sea Eagles)
    Nathan Cleary (Panthers)
    Selwyn Cobbo* (Broncos)
    Lindsay Collins (Roosters)
    Reuben Cotter (Cowboys)
    Tino Fa’asuamaleaui (Titans)
    Thomas Flegler* (Broncos)
    Harry Grant (Storm)
    Payne Haas (Broncos)
    Valentine Holmes (Cowboys)
    Ben Hunt (Dragons)
    Liam Martin (Panthers)
    Cameron Munster (Storm)
    Cameron Murray (Rabbitohs)
    Kotoni Staggs* (Broncos)
    Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow* (Dolphins)
    James Tedesco, capt. (Roosters)
    Jake Trbojevic (Sea Eagles)
    Isaah Yeo (Panthers)
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  6. #6
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    Cobbo? Now I’ve seen it all and Holmes, Carr, in particular plus Teddy, Cotter, Hunt and Jurbo can consider themselves very lucky.

    Congratulations to all our girls, well deserved.
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  7. #7
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    Tino had a cracking game against Samoa and Palasia not too shabby.

    Alick growing into his role too. A bit hard to judge in coconut football but certainly not out of place.

    Ps. By way of clarification I am using the term “coconut footy” in reference to the flamboyant style of rugby league played around the South Pacific and not as some derogatory reference to the people of the region.
    Last edited by Titanic; 15-10-23 at 11:01 PM.
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  8. #8
    Administrator DIEHARD's Avatar
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    Clash of the Titans: Foran's upper hand against teammate Tino
    https://www.titans.com.au/news/2023/...teammate-tino/

    New Zealand's Kieran Foran will be out to seek revenge against Tino Fa'asuamaleaui's Kangaroos when two of the Titans' biggest names clash in this Saturday's Pacific Championships final.

    Having been eliminated by Australia in last year's World Cup semi-final after an enthralling 16-14 contest, the proud Kiwi has been named to start at hooker for the International decider; with Fa'asuamaleaui back to start in the green and gold after getting the week off to freshen up for the finale.

    Further igniting the motivational flame is the most recent result between the Trans Tasman rivals with Kangaroos notching up a 36-18 win in their penultimate fixture of the tournament last Saturday, but New Zealand have the home ground advantage on their side this time round, with the clash to be played at FMG Stadium in Hamilton.

    The two Gold Coast stars have only squared off once before in action for their respective nations which was the 2022 World Cup playoff in Leeds; both playing off the bench - Fa'asuamaleaui getting through 14 minutes up front, whilst Foran took on hooking duties for almost the final quarter of the game.

    But whilst Tino may lead 1-0 in their International head-to-head, it's the 282-game playmaker that has bragging rights in the NRL; having won three games to one when the duo have been opposite ends of the field.

    This included a trifecta of victories for the Sea Eagles in 2021-22; and whilst the Titans triumphantly took down Manly at the backend of 2022 season, the Gold Coast skipper didn't play due to the birth of his second child.

    Ahead of this weekend's final, the Kiwis will be aiming to break a five-year drought against Australia with the challengers having only winning only two of their past 10 matches against the top ranked side.

    Foran's switch to No. 9 has proven to be a masterstroke by coach Michael Maguire, with the usual five-eighth averaging 53 minutes in the role across his two appearances, making 31 tackles per game with an inspirational show of relentlessness in the middle third.

    Fa'asuamaleaui was a powerhouse in his first Pacific Championships appearance, scoring his first International try and dominating up front to make 132 running metres - 60 of those post-contact - alongside busting six tackles.

    The 23-year-old will be a handful for his opposition, especially enjoying the week off with fellow enforcer Payne Haas who also earned a freshen up.

    The Pacific Championships final kicks off at 2pm (QLD).
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  9. #9
    Administrator DIEHARD's Avatar
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    I really wish we'd see the return of Three Test series vs New Zealand and England/Great Britain.
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  10. #10
    Immortal Titanic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DIEHARD View Post
    I really wish we'd see the return of Three Test series vs New Zealand and England/Great Britain.
    Yep, there is little doubt in my mind that the old ways were more engaging. Kangaroo and Emu tours plus series that could have a decider ... with the amount of content that the media craves, surely more is better with the advent of the Pasifika games etc.
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  11. #11
    Administrator DIEHARD's Avatar
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    Kangaroos used to be such a big brand in the UK and London.

    Even in Australia it is criminal how badly the brand is handled and neglected.

    Meanwhile we have seen what the Socceroos, Matildas and I guess Wallabies (In decades past) have achieved.

    People, especially neutrals have skin in the game with national sides. Including outside of our usual eastern seaboard footprint.
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  12. #12
    Immortal Titanic's Avatar
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    A pathetically half full stadium, while giving deserved kudos to the Kiwis, the Australian team looked like they were packed and ready to go home before the game ... a very poor look for the international game. This competition's meaningless format needs some serious rethinking.
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  13. #13
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    The crowd in Hamilton was humiliating. Although the look was made worse by people moving into the TV side and hiding from the sun.

    Diabolic effort by the NZRL and next year the NRL will take over promo of Tests in NZ.

    The Kiwis thoroughly deserved the win and it was good to see them improve and learn over two games. We really need test series in the game against NZ and GB/ENG.

    Pacific Champs can work but people don't really understand it and it can't be too regular. The Pacific Bowl certainly could.

    The Kangaroos were terrible, out of form, on rep and out of position. Mal has had his time.

    Next year we must pick players based on form. That is what the god damn national team should be all about and if it is the interest in the Kangaroos will multiple.
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    Immortal Titanic's Avatar
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    Moresby wasn’t much better until they threw the gates open midway through the first half. Good win by the Kumuls but hardly the foundation of an NRL standard squad.
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  15. #15
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    Absolutely, there is a lot more to it with the economics of it. Ticket expenses.

    It was great to see PNG finally smash Fiji which is turning into a great Melanesian rivalry.
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