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iTatau for the Fijiana 7s Team to the 2018-2019 HSBC World Series.

October 15, 2018       Tanoa Plaza, Suva.

The Chief Executive Officer of the Fiji Rugby Union, Mr. John O’Connor;

The Reverend Ilaitia Tuwere; 

The Manager of the Fijiana 7s Team, Ms. Vela Naucukidi;

The Coach of the Fijiana 7s Team, Ro Alifereti Doviverata;

The Captain and Players; and

Ladies and Gentlemen.

Ni sa bula vinaka and a very good morning and warm greetings to you all. 

Vinaka vakalevu Reverend Tuwere for the spiritual words of wisdom that will guide the Fijianas on their path of competitive rugby against the world’s best rugby teams. 

Ladies and gentlemen, as you can all see, we are gathered today in neutral space, but it is only because we have some upgrading works at both the Borron House and the State House.  I am happy to advise that both premises will be ready soon and we can resume hosting national teams there. I especially look forward to hosting our national teams at the State House.

I wish to convey this morning, the Nation’s and my personal congratulations to all the players for your selection into the Fijiana 7s team that will represent Fiji during the first leg of the 2018-2019 Women’s World Sevens series to be held in Denver, Colorado, on the 20th – 21st October 2018. Your participation in the first leg of the series will set the tone for the rest of your games throughout the Women’s World Sevens series competitions.  I also wish to congratulate the new coach of the Fijiana 7s team, Ro Alifereti Doviverata. The players will surely benefit from your vast experience as a former player and captain of the 7s and Flying Fijian teams. You were selected for a purpose and I sincerely believe that with your technical expertise and knowledge, Fiji will excel in the sport of women’s rugby both nationally and internationally. 

Having said that, I believe the Nation also owes the former national coach Mr. Iliesa Tanivula our sincere gratitude for his dedication towards laying the foundation for our women 7s rugby players. 

Under Mr. Tanivula, the Fijiana 7s team claimed fourth and ninth positions in the 2016-2017 and 2017-2018, respectively in the HSBC World series.  We can be assured that our current team will build on the foundation that Mr. Tanivula has laid, and I am happy to hear that our objective now is to endeavour to reach the top four in the first leg of the series.  

Nothing is impossible if you put your mind and spirit in your game. You are playing with the high expectations of your families and all Fijians. 

To the Captain, Ms. Sereima Leweniqila, and all the players, I wish to convey to you all the Nation’s best wishes for a resoundingly successful outing.  Be assured that our prayers and good wishes are with you.  Fly our national flag with pride and be great ambassadors of our beloved Nation.

Vinaka vakalevu, thank you and May Almighty God continue to bless us all.