Team Manager and Coach, Dominic Tabuna says they are grateful to be given the opportunity to field a team.
“It means a lot for the growing support of rugby on island, making the debut for the National Team in this tournament is a result of years’ worth of work for the Nauru Rugby Union and is a big step forward for the development of the sport on island.”
Tabuna also says the dream of every young man in wanting to become rugby starts has inspired him to form a team for the competition.
“This upcoming competition have been revived after a few years of inactivity, it is an avenue for tier 3 rugby nations in the region to progress to higher tiers i.e. tier 2 and eventually tier 1 rugby nations that are mainstays of the Rugby World Cup and the dream of many young men and women to become one of them. So what inspires me is to be able to give young men and women on Nauru an opportunity to play top class rugby and use it to better their lives.4,” he said
The team management have followed a strict plan to select its best players for the competition.
“Earlier this year our XV Rugby Season was played with eventual winners Meneng Crusaders winning the competition. Players were selected based on criterias stipulated by the NRU, over 40 players were selected and cut down to the final 26 players.”
Tabuna also adds that despite the challenges they face as a team while preparing for the tournament, they are also grateful to all the support they have been receiving.
“Preperation is going as well as it could, currently the aussie rules competition on island is ongoing, as you may be aware it is the most favoured Team Sports for Men on the island, however in saying that the Team is training well and is determined to do well.”
“Main challenge is the lack of a proper grassed rugby field to play /train on as we play and train on hard gravel like sandy ground with barely an inch of grass.6. The support we have been getting have been immense, we are grateful for the Financial support from our Government, Oceania Rugby, our sponsors Digicel Nauru Airlines, Capelle and Partners and our families and friends without them our trip would not happen. We are thankful for the spiritual support of the Fiji Tonga Community on Nauru who have been with us during our Devotion session.7. We plan to return to this tournament again next year and with the experience under our belt i believe the team will improve on whatever we achieve this year, so far we are looking only as far as the next game and we will take it one game at a time,” Tabuna added.
The Rugby Oceania Cup will kick start next Friday at the PNG Football Stadium in Port Moresby.