Call for Australia and NZ to help fund Pacific rugby

An economist is calling on the governments of New Zealand and Australia to use their foreign aid budgets to support Pacific rugby.

Tonga, Samoa and Fiji's performances at the World Cup were hampered by a lack of economic resources, Fiji economist Wadan Narsey said.

He said if a Pacific team was included in the Super Rugby competition, it would strengthen Pacific rugby unions financially.

Hundreds of millions of dollars in aid that New Zealand and Australia gave to the Pacific had a negligible political impact, he said.

"But, if [Australia] put in $10 million, let us say, and New Zealand put in $5 million, to provide the base financing of a Pacific Island Super Rugby team, and let them generate the remaining finances themselves, the impact it would have on the Pacific in cementing Australian and New Zealand roles in the Pacific is so profound I think no other superpower would be able to displace New Zealand and Australia."