CJ Patel stays true to rugby
The 2020 Skipper Cup Premiership competition was launched at the Wesley Church Hall in Suva, yesterday. As part of the sponsorship deal the Fiji Rugby Union and CJ Patel are currently holding talks in regards to the funds that will be allocated for the teams.
Eight provincial teams are playing in the country’s top rugby competition.
Speaking to SUNsports, FRU chief executive officer John O’Connor said despite the hard times fans should be looking forward to next Saturday’s opening matches.
“We are excited to have the competition launched because it has been a while since any competition has happened,” O’Connor said. “The players can’t wait to play and so too fans and to set things rolling is the double-header between Suva and Nadroga where the prestigious Farebrother- Sullivan Trophy is also at stake.”
Suva are the defending premier Skipper Cup champions while Nadroga are the Farebrother-Sullivan Trophy holders.
The respective team officials and players were handed their three sets of jerseys and rugby balls during the launch.
The jerseys were for the senior men and women teams along with the Under-19 (men).
“The men’s teams will have 15 branded balls which is the first of its kind,” O’Connor said. He thanked CJ Patel Group of Companies for their continuous support for the competition, which is a breeding ground for future Flying Fijians.
“We know all teams playing in this competition are representing their province with pride and have set the example for young players to strive to reach this level.
“In tough economic times, we are grateful to CJ Patel for believing in rugby and supporting the clubs and the operations of the competition.”
CJ Patel chief marketing officer Ashwin Prasad said the company was committed to standing by the Fijian people through its support of the competition.
“There is no doubt we are experiencing tough times as a nation. “But as a company we feel it is important to help people find joy and hope in light of these times, which is why we stand firm in our support of the Skipper Cup” he said.
“We are Fijians, it is our nature to smile and have fun in the face of all adversity, and rugby is that place we can turn to.”
LEDUA WARY OF NADROGA
Meanwhile, Suva captain Isireli Ledua knows the battle against Nadroga tomorrow week July 25 will be in the forwards.
“The two teams both have very good set of forwards,” the former Flying Fijians hooker said.
“Our coach has been trying to put up a game plan to create confusion for Nadroga. We’ve been working on our scrummaging and line-outs. “We have a few videos of Nadroga where we are analysing areas that we can beat them on. I know they have a very good forwards come the day.”
Ledua said to beat Nadroga, they must play to the last whistle.
“It’s going to be tough. We can beat them outside of Lawaqa but not on their turf because their supporters of all races come out to cheer them on.
“However, I’m confident with the young boys that we have and we are going for a win,” he added.
Other matches on July 25 see Lautoka face Naitasiri, Yasawa host Nadi at Churchill Park, Lautoka while Tailevu travel to Navua to tackle Namosi.
From left: Suva vice-captain John Stewart, CJ Patel chief marketing officer Ashwin Prasad and Nadroga team manager Semi Cabenalotu during the launch in front of Rugby House, Suva on July 16, 2020. Photo: Ronald Kumar