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Over the past 3 years there Mathys Fabre and Ryann Weatheane could have questioned whether to keep turning up to training at Stade Pentecost in Noumea with their Pacifique Treize teammates, not because they were not enjoying themselves, but because each time the fledging entity looked to be gaining momentum an obstacle seemed to appear.

Setbacks taking many forms, from Covid lock-down; international travel restrictions and cyclones to name just a few, yet despite all this both Fabre and Weatheane continued to turn up week after week in the hope that one day they would finally get to run onto the field wearing the red and blue colours in a competitive game.

Pacifique Treize, which launched in February 2020 full of optimism and ambition was severely impacted by the emergence of Covid globally. Plans to develop the game in New Caledonia and Vanuatu came to an abrupt halt. For Fabre and Weatheane the easy option would have been to lose faith and stop turning up to training, as with each passing week the optimism that had been generated could start to erode given the setbacks. Fortunately, both players stood firm with their commitment and now are part of the inaugural Pacifique Treize Under 17 team that will tour North Queensland, Australia in early February.

Fabre (16 ans) who has maternal links to Lifou and Weatheane (17 ans) who has paternal links to Mare, are 2 of 9 players that have been selected from New Caledonia for this historic occasion. The group will meet up in Australia with their soon to be teammates that have come from Vanuatu and mainland France. Pacifique Treize Director Manuel

Jalabert commented “Mathys and Ryann are 2 players that have shown incredible perseverance and spirit to continue to train hard amid some difficult times. They both thoroughly deserve this opportunity that is now in front of them. We are confident that both Mathys and Ryann will represent New Caledonia and their families with immense passion along with the other 7 players that will travel with the group”.

The full list of players from New Caledonia chosen to represent the Pacifique Treize U17 team in Australia are: Mathys Fabre, Ryan Weatherane, Nino Marie, Giovanni Sao, Ezechiel Fetaulaki, Maxime Alikigalelei, Mathias Patoyt, Remisio Lakina and Loic Vea.

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