Fiji Rugby has been given the green light for domestic competitions to commence as Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama eases the next stage of COVID-19 restrictions across the nation.
With contact sports now permitted and stadiums allowing 50% capacity, Fiji Rugby’s flagship Skipper Cup and the Vodafone Vanua Championship can resume preparations for the 2020 season.
Chief Executive Officer John O’Connor expressed gratitude on behalf of all members of the rugby community towards this much anticipated announcement.
“We would like to thank the Fijian Government for allowing us to commence local competitions.” he said.
“Rugby plays a major role in uniting the Fijian community, providing jobs and joy to the hearts of our people, therefore to be hosting local competitions will surely be a welcome boost to us all”.
“Skipper Cup will now kick off on Saturday 25th of July and the Vodafone Vanua Championship on 22nd of August” he added.
Mr O’Connor said it was key for all involved to embrace the new normal in relation to return to play guidelines set in place by both the Fijian Government and World Rugby.
“We are conscious of Fiji Rugby’s responsibility to lead the community in adhering to protocols for protecting the health and safety of the nation and remaining vigilant in the ongoing fight against COVID-19.
“We have instructed our Unions and all involved to download the careFiji app and complete the World Rugby online COVID-19 return to play course, which will ensure widespread education regarding the new regulations in place.”
Mr O’Connor also expressed immense gratitude to major competition partners CJ Patel and Vodafone Fiji for their resolve in honouring the commitment to Fiji Rugby and ensuring domestic rugby would remain alive in 2020.
“I am sincerely grateful to our key partners for staying with us and backing the Skipper Cup and Vodafone Vanua Championship. We know it has been a tough year and their loyalty to Fiji Rugby is invaluable.”
With one month until kick off preparations will now step up for teams, operations staff and of course the Fijian fans, with much anticipation for their beloved game to be back on the park.
More announcements will follow regarding the competition formats, participating teams and new initiatives in the coming weeks.