Kangaroos, Fiji Bati, State of Origin and NRL Hall of Famer to be Rugby League Varsity Match Guest of Honour
Petero Civoniceva has been announced as Guest of Honour at the 2019 Rugby League Varsity Match. Taking place on Friday 1 March at the Honourable Artillery Company in central London, it is the 39th annual battle of the Blues between the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge.
Civoniceva will take part in the game’s pre-match hospitality lunch and present medals, awards and the winning team with the trophy on the day. Plus, as part of an expanded programmes of activity in the build-up to the game, Civoniceva will visit Varsity Match sponsors and the two Universities to lead training sessions and present Blues jerseys to those selected to play.
The announcement was made by Rugby League Varsity Match director Mark Ramsdale who said “it’s a huge honour to welcome Petero. We’ve been able to attract some of the greatest names in the sport to speak at the Varsity Match and to continue that legacy with Petero is phenomenal. We’re grateful to him for spending the week before Varsity with the clubs and sponsors leading ultimately to what will be a great afternoon of rugby league in the heart of the City of London.”
Amassing 401 first-class games in a career spanning three decades, World Cup and triple Premiership-winning Civenoceva played 309 games for Brisbane Broncos and Penrith Panthers, 33 for Queensland, 49 for Australia and six for Fiji. As well as receiving accolades such as the Dally M Prop of the Year, the Harry Sunderland Medal and the Rugby League Players’ Association Players’ Champion, awards are presented in his honour. The Petero Civoniceva Medal is awarded to the Australian Fijian rugby league player of the year, while the Civoniceva Medal is awarded to the Queensland Cup player voted as the best and fairest.
Speaking from his home in Queensland, Civoniceva spoke about his involvement: “The Rugby League Varsity Match is a unique part of the sport. The Universities of Oxford and Cambridge are known for producing leaders and captains of industry in their chosen careers. I understand many who play in the Varsity Match are from rugby league heartlands but it introduces players from all over the world to the game who enjoy its physicality and speed. From the footage I have seen, it’s a really great atmosphere and I am looking forward to the day itself and the week leading up to the game.”