COM­PE­TI­TION

CJ Pa­tel stays true to rugby

Fiji Sun - - FRONT PAGE - SIMIONE HARAVANUA Edited by Leone Cabenatabu­a Feed­back: simione.haravanua@fi­jisun.

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

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