London9s: The Big Travellers


The London9s has caught the attention of teams all over the planet, in doing so it has brought some massive entrants from the other side of the world, here are the 3 most traveled teams, why they entered and what winning the tournament would mean to them.

Topline Warriors - Fiji - 16,000 Kilometers

Topline Warriors was formed back in 2011/2012 when there was an obvious social issue in our area of Nabua, Suva with unemployment, alcohol misuse and petty crime. The teams were formed to help the youth have something to belong too and strive towards. The majority of the team come from a government housing estate in the countries capital as families are moving to urban areas from rural villages for employment and education. Majority of the team come from single parent homes and live under the poverty line.
To enable us to attend this tournament we have had to fundraise heavily week in and week out; card nights, chicken sales, curry pack sales. The players who are employed have been saving their weekly income (average income $110fjd a week) toward their trip.
So when you ask what does this tournament mean to us; it's difficult to put into words. The privilege of overseas travel is only afforded in our country to the rich. So to be able to showcase our talent and athletic ability is a great achievement for the individual, our team and our families. If we were successful in any kinds of prize money it literally means food on the table for our families. We all dream of playing "big" so the opportunity to play in front of possible talent scouts could be life altering for one of our players.
We are extremely thankful and humbled to be given this chance.

Why did you want to be part of this tournament?

Well its the biggest 9s tournament in Europe and we wanna be part of it and showcase what we got on the field.

What does the tournament mean to you?

It means a lot to me and the management because there's a lot of raw talent in the team. We just want to showcase them so they can make a name for themselves and there family, and put the club name up there on the globe. We're not just gonna be representing the club, We'll be representing our country as well. So it will be a huge honour for the club.

What would winning the tournament mean to you and the club?

It would be a milestone achievement for the club cause this will be our first overseas tour and winning it will be icing on the cake.

Queensland Allstars - Australia - 15,000 Kilometers

Qld Allstars is a team made up of a bunch of good mates from around South East QLD.

Why did you want to be part of this tournament?

Qld Allstars wanted to be part of this Competition because it'll give the boys the chance to showcase their skills plus its also a good way to get out of Australia and explore the wonders of London and what it has to offer, we are all Rugby League players so playing Rugby 9s is a big challenge for us but my team will be coming over to win this comp.

What would winning the tournament mean to you and the club?

We have no club rooms no fields and minimal sponsorship, everything we do as a team is all out of our own pockets so winning this competition in London would pretty much be the icing on the cake for us.
Wan Papau Warriors - Papau New Guinea - 13,000 Kilometers

why did you want to be part of this tournament?

London is the capital of the world. Its a historic city with amazing culture and vibrancy. The opportunity for us to take our message of freedom and unity to such a place was too good to miss.
We want to play on the biggest stage possible and what stage is bigger than London.

My brother Tomasi and myself also grew up in London so for us it is also like a homecoming. We know theres a strong PNG and West Papua Community in the UK, as well as a very strong Pacific community so we are looking forward to their support.

what does the tournament mean to you?

In the context of what this team is trying to do which is spread awareness of our struggle, this is the biggest opportunity in our teams' history. It means we have an opportunity to gain huge global exposure and put our message and cause to more people than ever before. This tournament means everything to us.

what would winning the tournament mean to you and the club?

We are coming to win. We are a team of Warriors who play with every fibre of our being. If we can perform to the level we know we are capable of we know we can go all the way. That would be an amazing achievement and the biggest of our clubs history. It would mean so much to all the boys who have trained so hard and worked so hard to keep this club alive. It would also mean so much to all the West Papuans across the globe to see the Morning Star crowned as Champions. It would be incredible.

A big thanks to all the clubs' representatives for taking the time to talk to me and best of luck at the London9s. Tickets are available from https://www.london9s.uk

Pom

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