NRL 2024: Kamikamica calls for the NRL to take more matches to Fiji

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Storm star Tui Kamikamica will play in front of friends and family for the first time in 12 years when Melbourne hosts Newcastle in Fiji on Saturday, but the local hero hopes this is the start of a genuine commitment to the region and wants to see NRL games taken there in the future.

The Storm announced in December that they’d host the Knights at Churchill Park in Lautoka in what will be the first ever NRL sanctioned rugby league match in Fiji.

It’s a proud moment for Kamikamica who “couldn’t stop smiling” when he found out the club had organised the historic pre-season clash.

“It was a pretty awesome feeling, especially for me,” he said, with the Storm naming a strong squad following their loss to the Bulldogs last week.

“I grew up in Fiji and I know we love rugby. For me to come back to my homeland and play a trial game against the Newcastle Knights on Saturday is such an awesome feeling.

“I can’t wait to play in front of my family and friends because the last time I played in front of them was way back 12 years ago. It’s been a long time coming.

“It’s always good to come back home. Every time I come to Fiji, I see all the smiles on the kids’ faces when I meet them. Now they get to see all the superstars like Ryan Papenhuyzen, so they’ll be happy for that.”

It’s going to be a very worldly feel over the coming weeks with the trial in Fiji, the World Club Challenge in the UK and the historic double-header in Las Vegas, and Kamikamica hopes this is just the start of the NRL’s expansion overseas.

Fiji has provided the NRL with a long list of superstars including Viliame Kikau and Parramatta’s try-scoring machine Maika Sivo, and continued support from Australia will only benefit the national side as the world game continues to grow.

“It’s a good start with a trial game, but we want to bring a round game in the future,” the Storm prop said.

“I reckon it’s going to be good for Fiji rugby league as a whole.

“As Fijians, we love rugby. This is going to be the first time that we play a National Rugby League game here in Fiji, and it’s a historic match so I’m expecting Fijians to turn up in numbers to support their team.”

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