Petero still has plenty to offer
THE chance to represent Fiji in the Rugby League World Cup this year is something that excites retired NRL star Petero Civoniceva.
The 309-game veteran of the Brisbane Broncos and Penrith Panthers has had a busy start to 2013. He works with the NRL in an ambassador role and is playing for junior club the Redcliffe Dolphins in the Intrust Super Cup in Queensland.
"If the opportunity came up I would definitely be keen to play for Fiji," Civoniceva said.
"This year has been all about reconnecting with the people that helped get me to the NRL.
"I'd like to learn more about my Fijian heritage and promote the game in the country.
"To be able to be part of something like that while the game is booming over there would be fantastic."
Civoniceva will be part of the NRL One Community visit on the Northern Rivers for the next three days.
He will spend a full day at Woodenbong Central School today before guest speaking at a women in league dinner at the Byron at Byron Resort and Spa tomorrow night.
The Queensland Origin legend will be joined by retired NRL players Nathan Hindmarsh, Alan Tongue and Mario Fenech as they visit primary and high schools in the Lismore area on Friday.
Civoniceva has definitely earned the right to miss a few trainings with the Dolphins to help promote rugby league in areas like the Northern Rivers.
"I've passed through that way with the Broncos but haven't done much out there," Civoniceva said. "I'll have an early trip from Brisbane and look forward to spending the day at Woodenbong."
Civoniceva admits he hasn't met too many kids with ambitions of playing in the front row.
The 37-year-old began his career at centre but seemed destined to become one of the best front-rowers in the modern era after making his debut at the Broncos in 1998.
"Its great to be able to give something back to the game after all it did for me," Civoniceva said.
"We get to use rugby league as vehicle to get across some important messages in schools.
"It's great to meet plenty of kids and to engage with the ones that don't know a lot about our game."
The One Community visit this week focuses on bullying and is the second of its kind after the Titans visited schools around Ballina and Byron Bay in February.