NSW Cup rejection won't stop Fijian bid

Buoyed by the PNG Hunters' achievements in Queensland, Petero Civoniceva won't give up on getting a Fijian side into the NSW Cup even if their bid is again rejected this year.

Fiji, spearheaded by retired NRL great Civoniceva who played for the Bati six times after 45 Tests for Australia, will next month put its case to the NSW Rugby League (NSWRL) board.

The same board last year denied the Pacific nation's participation in the 2017 season over commercial issues.

NSWRL boss David Trodden said after last year's failed bid the body was committed to granting Fiji participation in the reserve grade competition.

Civoniceva is adamant a Fijian side belongs in the NSW Cup whatever the outcome of this year's pitch.

"If we're unsuccessful for next season, we'll definitely focus on the following year," Civoniceva told AAP.

"We're fully committed to making it happen. So we've just got to keep working hard behind the scenes."

The project has been four years in the making, with plans to play out of a 15,000-capacity stadium in Suva and set up a base where the players would eat, sleep and train in a live-in, high performance environment.

It's the same model of the Hunters, whose Queensland Cup grand final victory last weekend will see them face NSW Cup premiers Penrith at ANZ Stadium before Sunday's NRL decider.

"That's definitely a model that we'd take up in Fiji - provide a really professional training environment that can help these players go to the next level, and that is hopefully securing an NRL contract," Civoniceva said.

"It's a life-changing opportunity if they are to do that.

"We're buoyed by what (NRL star wingers) Suliasi Vunivalu and Semi Radradra have been able to achieve."

AAP
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