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Fiji Rugby and CJ Patel Group of Companies pens new sponsorship deal

Fiji Rugby and CJ Patel Group of Companies today officially announced a new partnership for the next three years which will now include the sponsorship for the Skipper Fiji Rugby Championship (the tournament will be known as Skipper Provincial Cup), INKK Fiji Rugby Farebrother Challenge and the Bainimarama Challenge Shield.   

Chief Executive John O’Connor firstly acknowledged the support of CJ Patel during the challenging 2020 competition.

We are so thankful to CJ Patel for their steadfast support in 2020 as they were one of the sponsors who remained steadfast in their support for Fiji Rugby maintaining their sponsorship which allowed us to successfully complete the competition in 2020.

We are also grateful that we have been able to successfully reach a new sponsorship agreement for the next 3 years. The new sponsorship agreement includes sponsorship for Skipper Provincial Cup, INKK Fiji Rugby Farebrother Challenge and the Fiji Rugby Bainimarama Shield Challenge.

We are so thankful that during this trying times, we have been able to reach agreement with CJ Patel. We have been in partnership with CJ Patel for the past 7 years and have also agreed verbally to continue negotiations after the next 3 years. As part of the new sponsorship, CJ Patel has agreed to the acquirement of a new Championship Trophy which we will source from overseas to reflect the long partnership we have had, the new INKK Fiji Rugby Farebrother Challenge Trophy which we will unveil today (while the original trophy is being repaired) and will be housed at the Fiji Museum, home and away kits for the Senior Teams only, one set of kits for the Development and Under 19 Teams with each Union also been given 12 balls.

CJ Patel Group General Manager Mr. Pranil Singh said “CJ Patel Group of Companies is pleased to announce its renewed commitment for the development of provincial rugby in Fiji. Since its inception in 2014, CJ Patel has invested over $5M in sponsoring and supporting provincial rugby with a clear vision to help identify and promote raw talent that we believe exists in Fiji.

The additional $2m sponsorship over the next 3 years, marks our commitment to take provincial level rugby to newer heights and our confidence in Fiji Rugby to deliver the same.”

Mr. Singh added “We are confident that with the assistance of this sponsorship, we will be successfully defending our title as the Olympic 7s Champions in Tokyo, Japan later this year.”

He further added that they have a range of activities planned during the games and off game days to keep the excitement going over the next 17 weeks.

“It starts this weekend with nail-biting rugby action in the double header clash of round One Skipper Provincial Cup and Inkk Fairbrother Challenge.

We look forward to a very competitive season.

Good luck to all the participating teams and we encourage all Fijians to show their passion for rugby by supporting their team at the respective match venues.  Have a good, clean tournament and may the best team win” said Mr. Singh.

Mr O’Connor said “We are also so grateful that by signing the sponsorship this will allow us to maintain the same level of grants we release to the Unions. This is a great blessing considering that everyone is feeling the effects of COVID-19.”

He thanked CJ Patel for their support and for the new sponsorship which he strongly believes is a great blessing for Rugby in Fiji amidst the challenges of COVID-19.

He also clarified that, the women will have their own separate competition and that they hope to make an announcement on the launch of the competition in their near future. We have had several complaints from the Women’s Team that their participation with the Men’s Team was not a true reflection of the strength of the Women’s competition resulting the champions teams being demoted to the Vodafone Vanua Competition. We also want to grow the Women’s game and include an Under-19 competition next year. We want to program it for the World Cup next year and the Global Women’s competition in 2023.

We have noted in the last few years that players who have exceed the Under-19 category have had no opportunity to play in any competition and have been lost to the system so we have introduced a Development Team to give these players the opportunity to participate in the competition and remain in the system.

We are excited about this great opportunity especially as we look forward to being included in the Super Rugby Competition.

In addition to this sponsorship, CJ Patel have also supported Fiji Rugby in their sponsorship for the Weet-Bix (7s Team Breakfast Campaign and their match ball campaign). We are just so thankful to CJ Patel for their tremendous support for Fiji Rugby and Grassroots Rugby in our time for real need.

“The championship model provides a battleground week-in and week-out, ensuring that all teams and their players deliver quality rugby,” Mr O’Connor added.

The Fiji Rugby CEO said that they will continue the same format introduced last year, where the holder of the “INKK Farebrother Trophy” will challenge the team at home.

Nadi is the holder of the INKK Farebrother Sullivan Trophy and will be challenged by Rewa in the first round of the Skipper Provincial Cup at Prince Charles Park in Nadi.

The Skipper Provincial Cup will again be taken around the participating provinces this year, so rugby fans and supporters have direct access to the live competition to parade and showcase their provincial colors.

The Senior men’s winner in the 2021 Fiji Rugby Skipper Provincial Cup will be awarded $30,000 with the runner up to be awarded $15,000.

The winner of the Under-19s and Development competition will receive $5,000 and the runner up a prize money of $2,000.

The Skipper Provincial Cup kicks off on this Saturday.

Nadi faces Rewa in the double header at Prince Charles Park in Nadi.

Suva meets Nadroga at the ANZ Stadium in Suva.

Northland will play Naitasiri at Gatward Park in Korovou.

Tailevu battles it out against Namosi at the Nakelo District School ground in Nakelo.

For more information on the competition visit our website www.fijirugby.com

© Fiji Rugby 2021