Fiji to Chase $2.2m
The Fiji Airways Fiji sevens side will take part in the US$1 million (FJ$2.2m) New York City Champions Sevens tournament which kicks off on July 15.
FRU interim administrator Simione Valenitabua confirmed this last night as the Ben Gollings coached 7s team arrived home. Valenitabua confirmed signing on the dotted line with World Rugby Football League which will feature eight top-ranked Olympic and World Cup rugby sevens teams at the Red Bull Arena, New Jersey.
The eight are New Zealand, South Africa, Australia, Eagles, Les Bleus, Ireland, Shujaa (Kenya) and Fiji. “We have the New York City sevens coming up and we’re looking forward to that,” Valenitabua said.
“We will ensure that the boys get all the support they need in order to be successful in that inaugural tournament.”
The day-long event will feature 16 fastpaced, 14-minute games. It will be broadcasted live on ESPN +, the RFL will also offer the world’s 300 million rugby fans a ground-breaking pay-per-view tournament package providing them with an unparalleled, all-live, all-access experience. Gollings added that there were few tournaments they would be competing in, including the NY sevens.
“Interesting, really, I think it’s going to be a part of the new way that sevens is going to be done with a new series,” Gollings said. “New York’s 7s in July but the key for us is we need time off. So the players have got to have a break because if we don’t have the break now, we’re going to be going all the way through to the Olympics,” he said.
“It’s really important that we switch off for most of June, and then we’ll regroup. We’ll have a short period where we then build towards NY, it’s a great opportunity. There’s big prize money as well.”
Valenitabua also cleared the air, regarding claims that the sevens players were not paid on time in the last two legs of the HSBC series.
“All those were false and misleading. Whoever was the source of the information did not know these players in order to motivate them to perform better in London. They were actually paid in advance with funds according to whatever was needed to be paid to them,” he said.*