Fiji Rugby Union has revealed a new brand identity for its Women’s 15’s competition as the Union celebrated the International Women’s Day with the theme“Break the Bias”, at Albert Park today.
FRU Chief Executive John O’Connor said it’s a privilege to introduce the Fiji Rugby MARAMA Championship, the Fiji Rugby RANADI Cup and the Fiji Rugby Secondary Schools RALUVE Championship which now sets the platform and pathway for women’s Rugby in Fiji.
O’Connor said the Marama Championship is the Tier 1 competition which will have eight provincial teams battling it out on a weekly home and away basis in a round robin format before the semifinals and final.
The Ranadi Cup will be the Tier 2 competition played amongst the teams which used to play in the Vanua Championship while the Raluve Championship will be a competition played at the secondary school level.
While unveiling the Fiji Rugby Marama Championship logo today, the Fiji Rugby CEO said the symbol represents the flower in full bloom and the players reaching the top.
He added “From now on, the Marama Championship has a brand identity which reflects ambition and where diversity is celebrated, and everyone should feel welcome.”
O’Connor also acknowledged the ANZ Fiji for coming on board to sponsor the Marama Championship. He said the competition will now officially be called “The ANZ Fiji Rugby Marama Championship (ANZ Marama Championship).”
We are excited that ANZ Fiji has come on Board to be the new sponsors of the Marama Championship for the next 3 years. This is the turning point for Womans Rugby in Fiji. There is now a clear pathway for every girl playing rugby in Fiji, from Kaji, to the Raluve competition, to the Ranadi competition, to the Marama competition, the Fijiana 7s, the Fijiana Drua and then ultimately to the Fijiana XV.
“We at the Rugby House are extremely grateful to the team at ANZ for their believe in women’s rugby and trusting Fiji Rugby through their sponsorship for the Marama Championship. We are so humbled for their support in such challenging times” he said.
Commenting on the sponsorship, ANZ Fiji Country Head, Rabih Yazbek said: “ANZ is pleased to be extending our support for rugby at all levels and creating a platform for women to compete in a world class competition.
“Announcing our sponsorship of the ANZ Marama Championship on International Women’s Day made sense, because we recognise the significant sporting, social, economic and cultural achievements made by women in Fiji.
“Sport is one of the most powerful platforms for promoting gender equality and empowering women and girls. On behalf of our staff, customers and the entire ANZ Fiji community, we’re pleased to be part of the support team behind the ANZ Marama Championship,” said Mr Yazbek.
O’Connor said “As part of this sponsorship, we will be providing playing kits for all the Teams, 6 balls per Team and a grant to the Unions to assist them meet their costs of travel and participation in the tournament. This is a great blessing considering that everyone is just starting to recover from the impacts of COVID-19.”
Expect more firepower in the ANZ Marama Championship as the players will try to impress the national team scouts for the up-coming international events this year.
O’Connor highlighted “Our women teams have the busiest of calendar this year, with Commonwealth Games and 7s Rugby World Cup lined for Fijiana 7s and then the Rugby World Cup for the Fijiana 15’s in New Zealand in September. The Fijiana 15s also have test matches scheduled this year.
The onus is now on the union coaches and players to train hard and prepare well as there are clear pathway from the grassroots to national level.
They need to put in all the hard yards during the ANZ Marama Championship so players can put their hands up for selection into the National Teams.
The eight participating unions which includes, Suva, Nadroga, Lautoka, Naitasiri, Nadi, Yasawa, Tailevu and Namosi will be given a grant and six rugby balls each to kick-off the season.
The two teams finishing at the bottom of the table will be relegated to the Ranadi Cup while the winner and runner up of the Ranadi Cup will be promoted to the ANZ Marama Championship.
O’Connor also added that as planned all the ANZ Marama Championship games including the Under-19s competition will be played on Friday so that the best match officials, medical staff and the operation staff are engaged before the focus switches to Skipper every Saturdays. Some Marama Championship games could also be played on Saturdays.
He also highlighted that the Fiji Rugby Operation team will ensure compliance to the new COVID-19 guidelines at all the venues once the tournament kicks off in three weeks’ time.
The Senior women’s winner in the 2022 Fiji Rugby ANZ Marama Championship will be awarded $15,000 with the runner-up to be awarded $10,000. The third-place finisher will be awarded $5000
The winner of the Under-19s competition will receive $2000 and the runner-up prize money is $1000 in the first year since it is a Tens competition and prizes will increase in the second year, when the U19 competition will be a full 15s competition.
The opening round of ANZ Marama Championship kicks off on the 18th of March.
The fixtures for the games are as follows:
Suva takes on Nadroga at ANZ Stadium. Two games will be played at Churchill Park whereby Lautoka hosts Naitasiri and Nadi faces Yasawa. Tailevu will battle it out against Namosi at Ratu Cakobau Park.
Meanwhile the CEO Fiji Rugby also thanked Mai TV for coming on board as the broadcast partner for the ANZ Marama Championship. Mai TV will broadcast live the main match of the round and this will be replayed during the week
You can get more updates on the competition on Fiji Rugby websites and social pages:
- Fiji Rugby Facebook @fijirugby
- Fiji Rugby Twitter @fijirugby
- Fiji Rugby Instagram @fijirugby