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Nadi Franchise Rugby Starts

Nadi Franchise Rugby Starts
2018 Nadi Rugby champions Army with fans after their victory in the final at Prince Charles Park in Nadi. Photo: Waisea Nasokia
October 10
11:00 2018

The Nadi Rugby Union kicks- off its franchise competition on Friday at Prince Charles Park, Nadi.

The six teams taking part in the Jack’s of Fiji sponsored franchise competition are  Betoraurau Giants, Bonunaqwele Turbos/Jets, Nadi Bay Sharks, Coastal Herons, Rukuruku Highlanders and Koroba Chiefs.

The objective of starting a new competition, introduced by Lautoka in 2013 and Nadroga in 2018, is to prepare the team and build their player base for the 2019 season.

Nadi Rugby Union sponsorship chairman Sekove Tuilakeba said, “Franchise rugby is part of the union’s preparations for the 2019 season which will be sponsored once again by Jack’s of Fiji.

“The franchise rugby competition provides a pathway four players to play in the under-20 and senior teams.

“It also provides a chance for club coaches to complete their World Rugby Level Two coaching course.

“The competition is primarily focused on exposing the best players that have actively participated for their clubs during the weekly games into another level of competition.

“It is about building depth within Nadi Rugby and coaching ranks in preparation for the 2019 season.”

He added the power base of rugby in Fiji has moved from the West to the East.

“Suva is the Skipper Cup Premiership champion and Naitasiri is the HFC Bank Farebrother Challenge champ. The top four teams in the Skipper Cup are Suva, Naitasiri and Namosi from the East and Nadroga from the West.

“Also in the Vodafone Vanua Championship, eastern teams Northland and Tailevu claimed the top two spots and have qualified to play in the Skipper Cup Premiership next year.”

Only Nadroga and Nadi are the surviving members from the West in the Skipper Cup next year with the other six spots claimed by Suva, Naitasiri, Namosi, Rewa, Northland and Tailevu. Nadi just managed to scrape through into the top six and avoid demotion.

“We had to wait until the last game against Suva to secure our spot in the top six.

“We need to wake up, work hard, work together and put our differences aside. We need to focus on a common goal and vision otherwise we will face the same fate as our fellow western teams Navosa, Malolo, Lautoka, Tavua, Vatukoula, Ba, Ra, and Yasawa  who will all be playing in the Vodafone Vanua Championship next year.

“We are trying to build a strong player base for next year’s squad and for that we need to have a strong and healthy club and franchise competition.”

The launching of the franchise competition will be held tomorrow.

Friday’s fixtures- 2.30pm Highlanders v Turbos/Jets, 4.30pm Sharks v Herons, 6.30pm Chiefs v Giants.

 Edited by Osea Bola



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