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Sports news in brief

Thursday 2 June 2022 | Written by RNZ | Published in Pacific Islands, Regional

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Sports news in brief
Christian Leali'ifano is Moana Pasifika's first player signing. Photo: Photosport

Leali'ifano top Moana player, Pacific Mini Games disappointment, and futsal team's European invitation.

Former Wallaby gets Moana Pacific's top gong after sizzling season

Christian Leali'ifano has been awarded the Moana Pasifika's top player honour at the Super Rugby Pacific's end of season awards night.

Leali'ifano surpassed 1,000 Super Rugby points and played a pivotal role for the franchise.

Manu Samoa loose forward Alamanda Motuga collected three prestigious awards - Players' Player, Rookie of the Year, and Forward of the Year.

Timoci Tavatavanawai received the Back of the Year honour, while Levi Aumua was the clear winner of Fans' Player of the Year award.

Moana ended its inaugural season with two wins.

Pacific Mini Games saddened at New Zealand absence

The chief executive of the Pacific Games Council says New Zealand isn't sending a delegation to the Northern Marianas for the Pacific Mini Games as it wants to focus on the Commonwealth Games instead.

Andrew Minogue says New Zealand initially thought of sending teams to compete in athletics, weightlifting, and beach volleyball.

But he says they are instead committed to the Commonwealth Games in July.

Australia, however, will send 19 young athletes and five weightlifters.

Mini Games Organising Committee chair Marco Peter says he's saddened that New Zealand won't be competing.

The Mini Games, which will be held later this month, will have over 1,000 athletes competing from 20 island nations.

Solomons futsal team invited to Croatia event

The Solomon Islands' national futsal team, the Kurukuru, has been invited to participate in an international futsal friendly tournament in Umag, Croatia in October.

The invitation follows Solomon Islands' participation in a similar international tournament last year in Porec, Croatia.

Other invited teams are Slovenia, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Saudi Arabia, Italy, Poland, Hungary, and Finland while USA already confirmed their participation.

Women's Rugby World Cup trophy to be shown in PNG

The Women's Rugby Union World Cup trophy will tour Papua New Guinea and the Pacific from this month.

The tournament will be launched in New Zealand on October 8.

The tour includes the Cook Islands, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Samoa and Tonga.

The World Cup will be the ninth edition after its introduction in 1991.

The trophy will arrive on June 20 in Port Moresby where it will be displayed at the New Zealand High Commission.

The next day it will make its way to Sir Hubert Murray Stadium where it will be on display.

The trophy will then be flown to Rabaul for community activation on June 22.

It will return on June 23 to Port Moresby where a leadership workshop will be held.

"As part of Rugby World Cup promotions and celebration, World Rugby and partners New Zealand Rugby Union are sending the trophy on tour around the Pacific," Papua New Guinea Rugby Union chief executive Sailosi Druma said.