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FRU President reveals details for 7s bid to World Rugby

March 16, 2018 8:01 pm

The Fiji Rugby Union’s bid outlines plans to mount a unique and successful leg of the World Rugby Sevens Series, and demonstrates clearly that Fiji is ready and able to take its place on the sevens circuit.

Speaking at the annual FRU Awards Gala Dinner last night, Prime Minister and FRU President Voreqe Bainimarama, announced the details of FRU’s bid to World Rugby to host a leg of the Sevens Series.

“When I announced, at the dinner held on 11 August last year to celebrate the anniversary of our Fiji Sevens Team’s historic gold medal at the Rio Olympics, that Fiji Rugby would be bidding for a leg of the HSBC Sevens Series I said we would pull out all stops to do whatever is required to build the infrastructure to host the event."

He says Fiji has the players, fans and the ability to stage international events.

“My government is fully committed to making this happen. Now it is time for the Sevens series to return to its spiritual home, to allow our people to see our players on home turf, playing the best in the world.”

Bainimarama says the bid states the tournament will be hosted in the western division closer to the Nadi International Airport.

The government is expected to provide around ten million dollars to upgrade the amenities and facilities to make it a world-class and a successful tournament.

The FRU estimates the overall economic benefit of a tournament in Fiji will be fifty million dollars per annum.

The World Rugby will make its decision on the hosts for 2019/2020 season in the HSBC 7s World Series in June.

Meanwhile, FRU Chair Francis Kean says they have left no stone un-turned while preparing the bid.

He says the leaders of the bid team Brian Thorburn and Greg Peters are putting together a credible and compelling proposal.

The key elements of the FRU bid proposal are:

•An October window as the preferred time of year for a Tournament in Fiji, just after Fiji Day, after the peak Australian and New Zealand school holidays, and at a time of year where Tourism Fiji actively seeks inbound visitation. Hence, the first Tournament could be as early as October 2019.

•FRU is bidding for a combined Men’s and Women’s tournament.

•FRU is prepared to host either a standalone event in Fiji or to twin with another Host Union and has proposed that its Tournament leg be the opening event of the HSBC Series each year putting Fiji, as the spiritual home of Sevens, firmly in the spotlight.

•The bid is based on hosting the event in Nadi, accessing the glorious Denarau hotels and facilities, capitalizing on the short distances between airports, hotels, match and training venues to make the Fiji leg a genuinely unique event from a player experience perspective.

•The transformation of Prince Charles Park into a rugby amphitheater, FRU’s Field of Dreams, where a temporary infrastructure will deliver a 20,000 capacity venue.