The National Provincial Championship will kick off on Friday where 14 provinces from around the country will be taking part in the 2 days tournament held at Nadovu Park, Lautoka.
The NPC is a tournament for girls from Under14 up to Under19 grade which is organized by Oceania Rugby and Fiji Rugby Union.
The tournament began in 2017 with 6 participating Provinces, coming to 2018 registration has increased to 12 Provinces, as for this year it has grown to 14 provinces from all across the country showing an exponential growth.
Oceania Rugby Pathway and Participation Manager Tihrani Uluinakauvadra emphasized that the whole idea behind this tournament is to provide more support towards the girls and creating opportunities for them in terms of their pathways.
Tihrani explained that Oceania Rugby in partnership with FRU is working together to create an equal playing field and through the support coming in from UN Women “we’re ensuring that we’re providing more support towards the girls.”
“The National Provincial Championship is an opportunity that we’re trying to create for girls in terms of their pathways, and from the get into rugby side, we’re using it as the next stepping stone for them to get into the rugby programme.”
Tihrani explained how the championship also provides an opportunity for these girls coming up and looking to represent Fiji in the future.
“Fiji Rugby Union is also using this opportunity to try and select some of the girls to represent Fiji for the upcoming Under18 7s tournament and also to our national squad.”
Fiji Rugby Union Development Manager Koli Sewabu said that the successes from last year has seen some of the girls playing in the NPC, represent Fiji this year in the Oceania Rugby Women’s Championships.
“It’s been exciting seeing some successes from last year where two of our girls coming out of our Under 19 Sevens last year that have got picked up by the Fijiana Sevens team and one of them played for the Fijiana XV’s team that participated in the Oceania Rugby Women’s Championships,” Sewabu said.
“We are thankful for Oceania Rugby and the support from UN Women for providing us with the platform in enabling the girls to showcase their talent, as we try to build a good base knowing the spike in participation for women rugby all across the world, including Fiji,” he added.
Players such as Lavena Cuvuru who is the Fijiana XVs flyhalf and Setaita Railumu from Fijiana 7s emerges from the NPC last year and as the tournament grows more quality players will be expected to come into the spotlight.
NPC will kick off on Friday 29/11/19 at Nadovu Park, Lautoka whereas the finals will be held at Churchill park on Saturday 30/11/19.