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Sharks welcome young Fijian duo

From RadioNZ – www.rnz.co.nz

The Cronulla Sharks have also welcomed two Fijian boys into its Fiji pathways development program last week.

The program is part of the Sydney-based club's Pasifika strategy which is helping to build relationships between the club and the Pacific Islands.

It's the very first time Kevueli (Kevu) Saulvakacolo and Silivenusi (Sili) Toka have ever travelled outside of Fiji.

Kevu, 17, said he felt blessed for the opportunity he's been given with the club.

"It’s been a very good experience with the Sharks. We did fitness [since arriving] and it was really hard, really tougher than the training in Fiji. Yeah, I'm really blessed to be here," he said.

Sharks recruitment manager Grant Jones said the partnership with the Silktails could provide further opportunities to Fijian players who progressed through the club's pathways development program.

"The Pacific Islands are a great breeding ground for young athletes and these guys are amazing," he said.

"Not just the two boys we've brought across [from Fiji], but Samoans, Tongans, Cook Island boys, Fijian - they're all amazing athletes, so its a great opportunity for these young guys but at the same time it could be beneficial to the Fijians rugby league [Silktails] and to our club, the Sharks."

Kevu and Sili are taken care of by the Sharks Adopt a Sharkie homestay program, giving the players a safe and stable home environment while they chase their NRL dream.

They will continue to train with the under 18s and 16s teams for another four weeks before heading back to Fiji early next year.

For more from the Radio NZ website, including an editorial on the Sharks partnership with the Kaiviti Silktails, CLICK HERE