FAR & WIDE: Number 18

By STEVE MASCORD

ANOTHER post-match international has been pencilled in for Sydney, this time pitting Italy against Fiji on October 12.

Bati assistant coach Joe Rabele recently told the Fiji Times the match would mark Fiji’s only full international this year. Western Weekender Stadium at St Marys is the venue.

The previous weekend, Fiji will stage its own Origin series – the ‘Battle Of The Bati’ – to select the team. The squad is due to arrive in Sydney just two days before the match, on October 10.

As previously reported, Italy was forced to pull out of the European Cup because of financial problems.

The Battle Of The Bati will be an exotic affair, including Fiji Residents, Australian Fijians, Country Fijians and a team from Queensland.

A Fijian under 20s side will play in the curtain-raiser to the Italy Test. Against whom? We’ll try to find that out as soon as we can, too.

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FOR those of you who think having an Italian side in the World Cup is mere kite-flying, here’s a program from a clash between the Italians and Australia in 1960 at Treviso.

The Aussie side included such luminaries as Keith Barnes, Johnny Raper, Ken Irvine and Reg Gasnier.

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ONE American event which we do expect to procede is the Remembrance Cup, honouring those lost in terrorist attackes in the US and Bali, in Las Vegas on November 10, 2012.

Coogee Dolphins – who lost players in the Bali Bombings – hold the Cup having beaten Glen Mills Bulls 42-10 in the curtain-raiser to the United States-Australia game in Philadelphia in 2004.

The Dophins are back this time and will be joined in the tournament by the British Columbia Bulldogs, California Condors, Utah Avalanche and Las Vegas Warriors.

This could be seen as a test event for the World Club Challenge and other matches which officials are considering being staged in Vegas.

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NRL stars Justin O’Neill and Alehana Mara have been named in the Vanuatu side to play Greece in Port Vila on October 20. But the  most interesting inclusion is Jake Meninga, nephew of Mal, who comes from the Sunshine Coast.

Filed for: RUGBY LEAGUE WEEK

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