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I will remain in the Opposition as we need to keep the Govt in check – Seruiratu Leader of Opposition is PM in waiting and ready if they have the numbers

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Leader of Opposition, Inia Seruiratu says he is now trying to consolidate the Opposition made up of 26 independents at the moment, and the 26 former FijiFirst MPs have until July 15th to confirm to the Speaker on whether they will continue as independents or join another party.

In an interview with fijivillage News, Seruiratu confirms that he is still the Leader of Opposition, and he is confident that he will remain to hold the position but this is politics, and anything can happen.

He also says they are also a government in waiting and he is the Prime Minister in waiting if some from the current government side join the independents.

Seruiratu says he is not aware of any approaches to the former FijiFirst MPs to join the People’s Alliance Party.

He stresses that national interest is first and foremost, and he wants to move away from adversarial politics.

Seruiratu also says it is unfortunate that the party had to be de-registered but he will continue to stand for a united Fiji and no one to be left behind.

He reveals that they also have some trust issues and they are trying to deal with that.

Seruiratu stresses the country needs a formidable opposition and to ensure that it keeps the government in check.

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Fiji News

All Blacks v Fiji: what you need to know

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Here is all you need to know about the match, where it’s going down and how you can follow the action.

All Blacks v Fiji: Live blog coverage on RNZ Sport

Kick-off: 2:30pm, Saturday 20 July NZT (Friday 7:30pm local)

At Snapdragon Stadium, San Diego

San Diego seems like an odd choice of venue?

It does, given that this is actually an All Blacks home fixture, so normally this would be played somewhere like Hamilton or Napier. However, NZ Rugby chief executive Mark Robinson has been upfront about the commercial opportunities that taking games to the United States brings and besides, this isn’t the first time this has happened.

The All Blacks played two horribly mismatched tests against the USA in Chicago and Washington DC, but it is their 2016 game against Ireland in the Windy City that is the most famous. The Irish picked up their first ever win over the All Blacks, a 40-29 result, in front of 60,000 at Soldier Field Stadium.

This week’s game is not the first time the All Blacks have played in San Diego, though. Way back in 1980 they beat the USA 53-6 at Chargers Stadium, which has since been demolished and replaced with the new, 35,000 seat Snapdragon Stadium. Fred Woodman, Portia Woodman-Wickliffe’s uncle, scored a hat trick in that win over the Americans.

All Black captain David Kirk in action during the Rugby World Cup match between the All Blacks and Fiji at Lancaster Park Christchurch, New Zealand, on Wednesday 27 May 1987.

All Blacks captain David Kirk in action during the Rugby World Cup match against Fiji at Lancaster Park, Christchurch, in 1987. Photo: ©PHOTOSPORT. www.photosport.co.nz

Saturday afternoon footy!

How good … unless you’re involved in senior club rugby finals around the country. But that’s OK because you can keep an eye on the action with Jamie Wall’s live blog, here on RNZ Sport.

How have Fiji gone lately?

Pretty good, if last year’s Rugby World Cup is anything to go by. The Fijians made the quarter finals and only just lost to England, who they had actually beaten at Twickenham before the tournament began. They did suffer a shock loss to Portugal in the pool stages, however that result may well have said more about the Portuguese and their rapid improvement in test rugby lately.

This year, they have started their season with a good 21-12 away win over Georgia in Batumi and the Fijian Drua made the Super Rugby Pacific playoffs.

Temo Mayanavanua and Scott Barrett swap jerseys.

Temo Mayanavanua and Scott Barrett swap jerseys after the All Blacks vs Fiji match in Hamilton, in 2021. Photo: Jeremy Ward/Photosport

What about the All Blacks in their first two tests?

They won both, which is the main thing.

England turned out to be a very well drilled and effective side, who are clearly on an upward trend in terms of playing both positive rugby and to their traditional strength of forward play and kicking. Scott Robertson’s team were able to nullify both – just – due to a noticeable shift in tactics in the first test and the impact of Beauden Barrett in the second.

However, not much from those games can really be taken into this test against Fiji. The starting side is going to be completely overhauled with four potential debutantes getting a run, Patrick Tuipulotu has been left at home to recover, and the focus on field will be very much ‘get the win and get out’.

What else are the All Blacks doing this week?

Selling. The whole point of this event is to grow their brand in a new territory, this time the West Coast of the United States.

There will be plenty of media spots and visits to sponsors, presumably to have repetitive conversations about what rugby actually is and why they don’t wear pads and helmets. As well as selling the All Blacks brand, the long term goal here is to build interest in the 2031 Rugby World Cup, which is being held in the USA.

Rieko Ioane scores a try.

Rieko Ioane scores a try against Fiji in Hamilton, in 2021. Photo: Andrew Cornaga / www.photosport.nz

What’s going to happen?

Fiji certainly have the ability to cause the All Blacks some problems, their previous results indicate they are a much more balanced side than the ones that have come to New Zealand in the past. The average winning margin for the All Blacks in those tests was a staggering 58 points, but it’s a fair call that this one will be slightly closer.

For the All Blacks, they will just want to get in, do their commercial work and get out with a win, because the next challenge is a Rugby Championship competition they haven’t lost in five seasons.

VIA RNZ

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Fiji News

Late former Deputy PM Professor Tupeni Baba passes away

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The late former Deputy Prime Minister, Professor Tupeni Baba has passed away.

University of Fiji Vice Chancellor, Professor Shaista Shameem says not only was Professor Baba the University’s senior-most Professor of Education and Dean of the School of Humanities and Arts, he was also an accomplished scholar, humanitarian and generous colleague.

She says Professor Baba had been a statesman holding ministerial positions as both Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education in past governments and was honoured by all communities in Fiji as a courageous parliamentarian and a true gentleman.

Professor Shameem says Professor Baba had been a Professor at the University of Fiji since 2017.

She says in company with other eminent professors over an eight year period, Professor Baba provided intellectual leadership to his students and, indeed, to the entire University.

Professor Shameem says Professor Baba was kind, good humoured and generous with his time.

She says his students loved him and his faculty admired his resilience and his constant admonition to them all that ‘the curriculum was dead’.

Professor Shameem says certainly the higher authorities sometimes found him difficult to understand so deep was his capacity to express strong feelings about the state of education in Fiji.

She adds the University has lost a great academic, and the nation a deep intellectual – and they will miss him.

She expresses her heartfelt sympathy and condolences to Professor Baba’s dear wife, and their colleague, the Vice Chancellor of the Fiji National University, Professor Unaisi Nabobo-Baba, and to Professor Baba’s family.

Professor Baba had served as a cabinet minister in the government of Doctor Timoci Bavadra until removed from office by the 1987 coups, and then was one of the two Deputy Prime Ministers in the government of Mahendra Chaudhry until they were removed from office by the 2000 coup.

He had founded the New Labour Unity Party to contest the 2001 election, but failed to win a seat in Parliament.

He contested the 2006 election under the former Soqosoqo Duavata ni Lewenivanua, and again at the 2014 election as part of SODELPA, however he could not make it into Parliament.

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Fiji News

45 years on -Today in History -Plane crash kills nine in Bua ,FIJI which also includes a couple from Gisbourne, Nz and pilot from Melbourne, Australia.

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On July 15, 1979, the news of a plane crash that killed nine people shocked Fiji. The story was published in The Fiji Times, saying the Fiji Air Islander crashed on a hill near Bua airstrip on Thursday, July 12.

A search began when villagers found the crashed plane on a hill six miles north-east of the airstrip.

The eight passengers and the pilot all seemed to have died instantly, the Director of Civil Aviation, Mike Varley, said.

Police stood guard over the crash and bodies were brought out by helicopter to Bua, then by fixed-wing transported by plane to Suva.

The crash was the first fatal civil aviation disaster in Fiji.

The twin-engined plane left Nausori Airport on the morning of Thursday, July 12 and was scheduled to arrive at Bua airstrip 40 minutes later.

Villagers living in hills around the airstrip reported later that they had heard the drone of an approaching plane through mist-shrouded hill, and then a crash.

After hearing a broadcast asking Bua people to help with the search, villagers set out and found the wreck on Saturday, July 14.

Mr Varley said they lit a signal fire which was seen by two boys who contacted a police party which had in turn contacted a helicopter, which honed in on the signal fire and landed on a pad the villagers had cut half a mile from the wreck.

The helicopter crew confirmed that all aboard the Islander were dead, Mr Varley said.

Those aboard the plane were, Ruth Manulevu, 53, of Lami; her sister-in-law, Mary Ah Tong, 42, of Vatuvia Road, Lami; Elizabeth Peckham, 30, of Lami and Ms Peckham’s brother, William Peckham, 26, of Lami, Esala Delana of Suva, Aritema Warua, of Macuata, John and Sandy Stevenson of Gisborne, New Zealand; and the pilot, Captain Gary Cope, aged 24, from Melbourne, Australia.

FIJI TIMES

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