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Following the success of an expanded Representative program in 2016, the Fiji National Rugby League has confirmed that the Fiji Residents will take part in a series of representative tours in the lead up to this year’s World Cup.

The Fiji Residents is a representative side made up of the best players from Fiji National Rugby League competitions.

Fiji National Rugby League CEO Timoci Naleba confirmed the planned representative program in an interview with the Fiji Times.

“There are plans to have international tours next year for the local players as a form of buildup towards the RLWC in October” Naleba said.

Naleba said local players would have the opportunity to tour Canada after the FNRL office received an invitation from the Canadian Rugby League plus the FNRL already had commitments to tour France.

The Fiji Residents will also travel to Hawaii to again take part in the Ohana Cup.

“These tours are for local players and if their fitness is up to the standard we want, which I’m sure the local boys will achieve,” Naleba said.

“There are also talks to request the Australian A team for a game against them.”

Naleba said that the FNRL were now looking at players in a holistic approach to allow more domestic based players to have the opportunity to represent Fiji at the upcoming Rugby League World Cup.

The approach was designed to improve the standards of the domestic competitions, as well help the FNRL attract and retain players.

The Residents fixtures will be in addition to the confirmed ‘Battle of the Bati’ match.