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Fiji Rugby Union Clarifies Reports Regarding Fiji Men’s 7s Team Accommodation

Suva, Fiji – 25th April 2024 – The Fiji Rugby Union (FRU) would like to address recent reports suggesting that members of our Fiji Airways Fijian Men’s 7s team slept outside during a layover at Sydney Airport while traveling to the Dubai 7s tournament.

FRU investigation into this issue commenced upon receipt of a letter dated 11 December 2023 to the Prime Minister from the Honourable Speaker of Parliament. The letter outlined concerns that our Fiji Airways Fijian Men’s team slept outside the Sydney Airport Terminal corridor until 2.30am when the Airport Terminal re-opened.

After a thorough investigation and consultation with the Fiji Airways Fijian Men’s 7s management and players, FRU found that the teams flight arrangements were made by World Rugby.

Accommodation at Ibis Airport Hotel in Sydney was arranged to provide the players with appropriate rest billet during their transit ensuring their comfort and well-being for the rest of their journey to Dubai.

The Head Coach and Assistant Coach did remain outside the terminal, with the team luggage and equipment for 3 hours until Sydney Airport reopened for scheduled morning flight check-in for passengers.

FRU in their response to the Minister for Youth & Sports, Hon. Jese Saukuru outlined the following:  

  • Our Fiji Airways Fijian 7s team departed Nadi at 6PM on Fiji Airways flight FJ915 on Sunday 26 November 2023.
  • The team arrived at Sydney Airport at approximately 9.40PM on the same day.
  • Sydney Airport International terminal closed at 11PM.
  • Fiji Airways Fijian Men’s 7s team checked into Ibis Sydney Airport hotel , however the Head Coach and the Assistant Coach stayed on at the terminal to ensure the safety of the team equipment and bags in preparation for check-in at 2.30AM when the airport reopened.
  • The team returned from their hotel at 3AM to check-in at the international terminal for their scheduled flight at 6AM for Dubai.

The Minister for Youth & Sports relayed Fiji Rugby’s response to the Honorable Prime Minister, who said it was unfortunate that those who raised concerns with the Honorable Speaker of Parliament, were not fully aware of the events that occurred as clarified above.

Fiji Rugby wishes to highlight that information spread on social media pertaining to our national Men’s 7s players sleeping outside the airport are inaccurate and misleading.

Fiji Rugby Board of Trustees expresses that the welfare of our national teams is of paramount importance to Fiji Rugby where the necessary support, respect, and dignity is accorded to them while representing our country on the international stage.

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