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EDITORIAL: Women’s Inclusion Good For Skipper Cup 2018 Competition

EDITORIAL: Women’s Inclusion Good For Skipper  Cup 2018 Competition
January 14
11:03 2018

The inclusion of women’s participation in the 2018 Skipper Cup competition is a welcome move.

All eight teams – Nadroga, Naitasiri, Suva, Nadi, Rewa, Navosa, Namosi and Malolo – competing in the 2018 Skipper Cup competition must field a women’s team and the Fiji Rugby Union must be commended for bringing parity to the game.

We hope this is the dawn of a new era as women’s rugby takes a new shape.

We need to start from somewhere and this is the right way forward.

We always have high expectations of our reps to deliver the desired outcome no matter what.

A case in point was when we attempted to compete in the Women’s Rugby World Cup in Ireland last year.

Firstly, we don’t have a 15s competition in place and although we beat Papua New Guinea in the Oceania qualifier in Suva, we were easily beaten by Hong Kong 45-7 and Japan 55-0 who as a result qualified as Asia/Oceania One and Two qualifiers.

This simply shows that there is no easy way or short cut to achieving success.

The Skipper Cup competition also opens doors to more women from around the country to get involved instead of keeping the focus in the urban areas.

It would be interesting to watch when the women from the highlands of Naitasiri play their counterparts from Namosi, Suva or Nadroga.

They would definitely add more glitter to the competition.

Malolo team manager Ratu Tevita Sadrata is right to say that “our women are ready to strut their stuff when the competition starts in April.

“They are gearing up for the competition and our players comprised mainly of hotel workers,” Ratu Tevita said.

More women participation in the Skipper Cup will definitely help the Fiji Airways Fijiana selection for participation in the Women Sevens Series, Commonwealth Games and the Rugby Sevens World Cup.

Fijiana coach Iliesa Tanivula will now have a wide pool of players to choose from.

Instead of just selecting players from local sevens competition, he can include 15s reps in the fold because they are involved in high intensity competition.

Fiji Airways Fijian 7s coach Gareth Baber included John Stewart and Eroni Sau in the first leg of the World Sevens Series in Dubai-Cape Town and they made an impact because they competed in a high level competition – the Australian National Rugby Championship.

Players can train as hard as they like but they need to compete in tournaments to allow coaches to gauge their performance.

The Australia Rugby Union earlier this week made a breakthrough by providing equal pay for the men and women in sevens.

This is the flow-on effect from the gold medal win of the women’s team at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Hopefully, our Fijiana will make a mark in the Women’s Sevens Series in Sydney on January 26-27.

Their inclusion in the Skipper Cup competition will help them achieve success in the long run.


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