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Editorial: Vanua teams need to lift challenge in 2018 comp

Editorial: Vanua teams need to lift challenge in 2018 comp
Bua Rugby team manager Pio Raisele receives playing kit for the Vodafone Vanua Championship from FRU chief executive John O’Connor on March 28, 2018. Photo: Grace Narayan
April 01
12:42 2018

There is every reason for the 16 teams to lift their game in the 2018 Vodafone Vanua Championship.

The Fiji Rugby Union tier- two competition got the lifeline it needed when mobile giant Vodafone came on the scene last year.

It reflected how sponsors make it happen if sport is to grow and improve its dollar value by bringing fans to watch games.

Therefore the onus is on the players, officials and administrators to take full advantage of corporate assistance when the competition kicks off on April 14.

Gone are the days when officials put together teams two weeks before the start of the competition previously known as the B-Division championship.

Preparation should start well in advance in the off-season if players are to last in the long run.

It is heartening that officials are getting the ball rolling even before the launching of the 2018 Vodafone Vanua Challenge at the Grand Pacific Hotel.

Team managers were grateful with the $300K sponsorship package by Vodafone.

They all agreed that this is a new era and the current generation of players are extremely fortunate compared with their days.

Nearly everything is being catered for, which includes jerseys, balls and preparation grant of $5000.

Nanukuloa Rugby manager Naca Nataucema said:

“Players have no excuse now.

“They need to change their mind-set and deliver.”    

Bua Rugby team manager Pio Raisele said: “Sponsors make it happen and we thank Vodafone for breathing life into the competition.

“The onus is on officials to make it work for the players to deliver.

“We don’t have to look far to know how rugby is administered.  We just have to learn and ask Nadroga Rugby for guidance.”

All participating teams received a full set of playing kit for the U20 and senior teams, 10 rugby balls and the FRU participation grant of $5000.

The new kits were unveiled by the team captains, showcasing their provincial colours and logos.

The two pools comprising teams from the Central/Northern divisions and Western teams making up the other pool.

The top two teams from each pool proceeds to the semifinals and the winner gets the Bainimarama Shield.

The top two teams would also be promoted to the 2019 Skipper Cup competition.

Competition will be tough since teams who normally play in the Skipper Cup like Macuata, Northland, Lautoka, Tailevu and Vatukoula are now part of the Vanua Championship.

This is another chance for them to restore lost glory.



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