Fiji team a potential step to NRL

Petero Civoniceva (left) has spoken with Scott Morrison about Fiji's NRL potential.
Petero Civoniceva (left) has spoken with Scott Morrison about Fiji's NRL potential.

Fiji's team in a NSW rugby league competition will give talented young players a chance to shine and potentially a path to a Pacific team in the NRL.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison was in Suva on Friday to announce funding for Fiji to put a team in NSW's Super Premiership from 2020.

Queensland State of Origin legend Petero Civoniceva backed the team made up of local Fijian stars to succeed in the Australian competition.

"It's obviously the missing link for the development of the game in Fiji," Civoniceva told AAP in Suva.

"It's well known the stars that have come from these shores.

"What this does now is enable the local player a wonderful opportunity to chase a professional opportunity, playing in the NSW Super Premiership."

The players on the team will be drawn from the Fijian domestic competition.

Labor's national conference recently voted to push for a Papua New Guinean team in the NRL and Civoniceva said that could be an option for Fiji and the Pacific.

"Most definitely, I think it's certainly the case with rugby league in the Pacific that it could be down the track," he said.

"But small steps first and I think this one is certainly a very important one."

Morrison was also open to a Pacific team in Australia's top rugby league competition "potentially" down the line.

"That's a matter for the NRL. At the end of the day, the Australian government doesn't run the NRL. From time to time, I'd like to," he joked.

For now the focus will be on getting talented Fijian players a shot at a professional, life-changing opportunity.

"When young kids can see a guy from their village all of a sudden playing on the big stage, it's wonderful for young people to aspire to reach their full potential and that's what sport provides," Civoniceva said.

Australian Associated Press