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Pacifique Treize, the Noumea based rugby league entity that will be touring North Queensland, Australia with an Under 17 team in February have declared their ambition to help promote and develop the game in French Polynesia.

The touring U17 team to Australia will feature players from New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Wallis et Futuna and mainland France, yet it is the hope that future tours would also look to include players from Tahiti.

Although rugby league has yet to be established in French Polynesia, the game is well known to many through links to mainland France and through the popularity of the National Rugby League competition in Australia throughout other Pacific Islands nations. Mate Maa Tonga and Toa Samoa have surged ahead in the international rankings over the past 5 years, whilst Cook Islands also featured in the most recent rugby league World Cup held in England in 2022.

Pacifique Treize Director Manuel Jalabert stated “Tahiti is somewhere we would like to assist in promoting rugby league and we believe that there are many athletic players in Tahiti waiting for opportunities like this. Our priority in 2024 will be to continue to build our core group of players in New Caledonia and Vanuatu, whilst also offering assistance where possible to people in Wallis et Futuna and French Polynesia to learn the game and potentially earn selection for future tours we undertake”.

“Rugby League is growing at a rapid rate in the Pacific Islands and we wish to be an entity that represents all of the French speaking Pacific territories and hope that one day we can see some of our players playing in the NRL into the future”.

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