Fiji Rugby will introduce its “Super 7s Series” starting in January next year which will give the Fijian and Fijiana 7s side the opportunity to prepare well for the 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games in Japan.
Chief Executive John O’Connor said “We have had to be innovative after World Rugby had cancelled most of the HSBC 7s Series this year and the opening legs of 2020/2021 Series due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The HSBC 7s Series had been an integral part of our preparations for the Olympics as such we have had to look at other alternatives to give our players the needed preparation before the Olympics.
We are so fortunate that we an abundance of 7s tournament in Fiji which our players can participate in with their different Clubs giving them the necessary game time. We, however, need to replicate an environment similar to the HSBC Series where the Top 16 Mens Club Teams and the top female teams compete against each other so that the good players stand out, competing against the top players in their respective club teams also allows the Coaches to see our national players perform against other top 7s players in Fiji thus helping our 7s team prepare well for the Olympics.” Players in the current National squads will be released to play for their respective clubs
“The plan is to hold four 7s tournaments, where the Top 16 club teams will play across all the tournaments and they will accumulate points likes the World Rugby Sevens Series and at the end we will get a winner” said O’Connor.
He added while planning for the Series, Fiji Rugby has been very mindful not to disrupt all the good 7s tournaments being hosted around Fiji.
We are looking closely at the teams which have played in the last few tournaments and are keeping a close eye on the Teams that reach the quarterfinals in each of these tournament regularly and we will select the top 16 teams to participate in the series.
Fijian 7s Coach Gareth Baber said “We want to have those tough pool games for example four teams, play through, good quarterfinals and see how the teams progress.
“It’s utilizing the crown jewels we have here in Fiji which is the quality of 7s rugby across the country and then just giving a bit of focus so these players are playing six tough games in every competition they are involved in.
We have some great grass root tournaments around the country and we have played in some of them but ultimately we need to be little bit shellfish on time as we are focusing on preparing the players who can reach the Olympic team and be the best quality they can come July.
Baber added the players’ part of the extended squad will play for their respective clubs in the beginning of the Series and will gradually come together as one in the later stage of the series.
“Initially they will play for their clubs and as we go closer to the start of the World Rugby Sevens Series I will look to put them in two teams” said Baber.
The first tournament of the Super 7s Series is schedule to be on the 22nd and 23rd of January at Lawaqa Park.
Some of the Teams that have currently stood out and will be likely included are Tabadamu, Ratu Filise, Taveuni, Army and Police to name a few.
It will also give a timely opportunity to our Fijiana 7s side to challenge themselves against some of the top women’s club in the country.
Fijiana Coach Saiasi Fuli said “” We will field 2 teams for the series and I’m very thankful for the great initiative by Fiji Rugby.
This program will enable us to gauge, monitor and will be the best selection tool for us moving forward towards the Olympic Games in Tokyo next year.”
The CEO John O”Connor highlighted that they still are talking to possible sponsors to sponsor the 4 Series tournament. Due to COVID 19, we will need the support of a good Sponsor to sponsor the Series but have confirmed the first leg which will played at Lawaqa Park. We ask interested sponsors to get in touch with our Office through Avnil or Brian.