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EDITORIAL-Heed President’s Call, Fly Fiji’s Flag With Pride

EDITORIAL-Heed President’s Call, Fly Fiji’s Flag With Pride
June 04
11:20 2017

Rugby is our national sport enjoyed by the majority, if not all, Fijians top to bottom.

It’s the sport that always offer a lifeline, a lifesaver, uniting the people of Fiji in the most difficult of times.

There is no better way for Fijians to drown their sorrows or starting a new day more energised and refreshed than watching our rugby teams punching above their weight and defying the odds on the international arena.

And when they do, we celebrate like no other which reflects our love for the game that is ‘played in heaven.’

The carnival atmosphere, pomp, buzz and frenzy generated after Ben Ryan coached the Vodafone Fijian 7s side won the first ever gold medal during the Rio Olympics last year, was beyond compare.

Some may say we are overdoing things but that is our Fijian style of celebrating success. We may differ from the rest because we cherish in breaking new grounds and make the world take notice.

It is therefore important that our national teams value their selection to represent our small rugby nation.

President Major General (retd) Jioji Konrote made a timely reminder when he accepted the Vodafone Flying Fijians itatau (traditional blessing) on Friday. The team departs today to play the Wallabies in Melbourne on Saturday.

He stressed the importance of winning like:

Beating the Wallabies in 1952 (17-15) and 1954 (18-16) at the Sydney Cricket Ground;

Reaching the Rugby World Cup quarterfinals in 1987 and 2007;

Winning most times since the Hong Kong Sevens started in 1976;

Winning the Melrose Cup (Rugby World Cup Sevens) in 1997 and 2005;

Winning the gold medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics.


The President said: “Rugby has become synonymous with Fiji because as a warrior nation, our ancestors have always welcomed battles. That psyche has now transformed to our love of competition. And, we definitely love winning!”

He also made special mention on Fiji’s breaking new ground in the leadership roles in the global community with Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama, who is also the president of the Fiji Rugby Union, leading the charge.

The President said: “We chaired some of the largest gatherings of countries including Group of 77 Plus China, 71st Session of the United Nations General Assembly. We are still presiding over the UNGA. We are also co-chairing the United Nations Ocean Conference that will take place in New York next week, led by our PM and his counterpart from Sweden.

“Prime Minister Bainimarama will also chair the 23rd Session of the UN Convention on Climate Change or COP23.

“The philosophies, the strategies and language that we convey in these important international gatherings accentuate our love of rugby.”

While PM Bainimarama is calling on the global community to work as a winning team on the other side of the world, the Flying Fijians should focus on achieving the same objective in Melbourne this week.

We need to start building a team and make a difference at the 2019 RWC in Tokyo. We  made a statement scrummaging to good effect at the 2015 RWC.  But we still lost to Australia, Wales and England which means the game is not only won upfront.

The journey to the 2019 RWC starts on Saturday and all we ask for is for our men to fly our flag with pride. Fans, including the President, will always celebrate a job well done.




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