Fiji Rugby targets NYC 7s

Fiji Rugby Union Interim administrator Simione Valenitabua at the Nadi International Airport. Picture: REINAL CHAND

Fiji Rugby Union will send its best team to compete at the inaugural World Rugby Football League NYC Champion Sevens in United States which has a $US1 million ($F2.2m) prize pool.

The one-day tournament that would be played at the Red Bull Arena on July 15 and is expected to feature top eight rugby teams from around the world.

New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, France, Fiji, Ireland, Kenya and the USA have been confirmed for the fast-paced sevens action.

FRU interim administrator Simione Valenitabua, in an interview, said they were looking forward to the tournament.

“We will ensure that the boys get all the support that they need in order to be successful in that inaugural tournament,” he said.

When questioned, national men’s 7s coach Ben Gollings said the Fiji team would be competing at few tournaments, with the NYC Sevens being the most interesting.

“It is a great opportunity with a big prize-money,” said Gollings.

“I think it is going to be part of the new way that sevens is going to be done, with the new series that will be announced and we are not fully aware of what is going to happen to the series but New York is in July,” the national coach added.

According to New York City Sevens (NYC), the tournament in July in only Phase One of the bigger picture ahead.

In Phase Two, 48 game of 14 minutes of rugby in four events with a $US4m cash pool for next year and in Phase Three, 112 games in seven events with a $US$12m cash pool in 2025. Rugby Football League (RFL) co-founder Deb Henretta said she was thrilled to support an effort that would add women into in the mix in 2024 with World Rugby’s top women’s sevens teams playing for the richest prize ever paid in the word’s fast growing women’s game.

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