Civoniceva contemplating Fiji switch - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Civoniceva contemplating Fiji switch

Will Ganley 19/04/2011 03:45:44 PM Comments (0)

Record-breaking Australian Test forward Petero Civoniceva is contemplating calling quits on his Kangaroos career - and enjoying a representative farewell with his native Fiji.

The 34-year-old Civoniceva - who's 44 Test caps for Australia is a record for a forward - has expressed a desire to turn out for Fiji in the 2013 World Cup.

"I'm looking at maybe making this my last year of representative football in Australia," Civoniceva said.

"I've been in contact with (Fiji Rugby League general manager) Steve McLellan and the boys within the association and have been working closely with them.

"I've always said it (playing for Fiji) is something I'd love to do."

Civoniceva was born in the Fijian capital of Suva, but left when he was just one year old and grew up in Redcliffe on Brisbane's north side.

He has 27 State of Origin appearances for Queensland to add to his representative resume.

But the big prop is starting to consider life after football and may well look at going back to his cultural roots to help the game continue to grow in his homeland and around the Pacific.

The Penrith skipper spoke out recently about the lack of work being done to foster development in the Pacific and said they needed to act quickly to build for the future.

"I know there's a strong domestic competition in Fiji and it wouldn't take much to set up an academy where you could bring boys in from other islands for training, get a strength and conditioning coach and a nutritionist to work with them," Civoniceva said.

"It would be a great way to help identify players in the game and, as I said, it wouldn't be a huge financial outlay.

"I would love to be a part of it because there's so much potential and it seems there's nothing being done about it (by the NRL).

He said he would also like to see Polynesian players in the NRL being sent back out to their home countries to run camps for local children.

"I think it's really important as a league. Because of the number of Pacific representatives in the game, it has to be vital that we go back to the islands and help build the game there," Civoniceva said.

"It will help show that we are proud of our island heritage, and show them our love of the game.

"I think it would really be uplifting for the kids and would show them they can achieve anything if they work hard and set their minds to it."

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