In short: sports news from the Pacific

Former Suva Rugby President Commodore Humphrey Tawake has been named the new President of Fiji Rugby.

Humphrey Tawake is the new president of Fiji Rugby.
Photo: Rugby Fiji

The deputy commander was appointed to the FRU board of directors by Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama, who is also president of the Rugby Union.

He succeeds Conway Beg, whose term expired last month, just a year after taking the job.

Humphrey Tawake has led a number of teams over the years, including the Fijian Navy and the Defense Forces who played for the World Cup in 2013.

He was the manager of the Flying Fijians team at the Rugby World Cup in England in 2015, and has served as president of the Suva Rugby Union for the past six years.

Tawake said he was fortunate enough to lead Fiji’s largest sports organization.

Commander Humphrey Tawake addresses troops at the command post in Vanua Balavu, Fiji

Photo: Alex Perrottet / RNZ

“I have been involved in rugby over the past decade in various capacities and I know the feeling and the passion of the Fijian community towards rugby.

“I must take the time to thank the two previous presidents for their efforts and their strategic leadership which has enabled FRU to take important steps to be where it is today.”

Lakapai Samoa wants Dubai to stay to compete

Lakapi Samoa has requested a temporary base in Dubai, so the team can compete in the final eight stages of the current World Series.

Samoa’s strict Covid-19 regulations have caused problems for the country’s international rugby teams year-round.

Manu Samoa’s men’s seven-to-seven team have been out of action since the Olympic draft in Monaco in June, and their northern hemisphere tour has been scrapped.

Director General Vincent Fepuleai said he was confident of a positive response from the government.

He warned that the team’s status among the world’s elite seven-a-side could be in jeopardy, with huge consequences for the future if they do not participate.

He said the players were eager to go and the team were ready to test themselves internationally again.

Kanak legend “Zigzag” died at age 69

Jacques Zimako

Jacques Zimako
Photo: RNZI

Oceanian football has lost one of its greatest footballers, New Caledonian Jacques Zimako, who died at the age of 69.

The first Kanak-born footballer to represent France, Zimako played 13 times for the France team, scoring twice.

In club, he played for Saint-Étienne, Bastia and Sochaux, and won a Ligue 1 title in 1981 with Saint-Étienne.

Nicknamed Zigzag, due to his ability to evade defenders, Zimako helped New Caledonia win gold at the 1987 Pacific Games.

Zimako would later coach the national team.

Fiji outside the swimming world championships

Fiji Swimming withdrew from the FINA World Championship in Abu Dhabi this month.

Olympians Taichi Vakasama and Cheyanne Rova, as well as Americans Netani Ross and Moana Wind were scheduled to participate in the Games.

Fiji Swimming says the decision is due to financial constraints and the adverse effects of the pandemic on training and logistics.

Tomorrow named PNG women’s football coach

Nicola Demaine has been named the head coach of the Papua New Guinea women’s national football team as she continues her preparations for next year’s Oceania Nations Cup.

The Englishwoman has extensive experience in the region, including coaching the Samoa Women’s National Team at the 2019 Pacific Games.

Papua New Guinea Football Association general secretary Pius Letenge said plans were now in place for the national team to meet for a training camp.