SPORTS

Macuata Women Take Up Rugby

For the first time the Macu­ata Rugby Union is including women as part of their devel­opment programme. This is part of the Union’s three year develop­ment plan. Macuata Women rugby
24 Nov 2018 10:54
Macuata Women Take Up Rugby
Macuata girls after their coaching clinic at Subrail Park, Labasa on November 22, 2018. Photo: Nacanieli Tuilevuka

For the first time the Macu­ata Rugby Union is including women as part of their devel­opment programme. This is part of the Union’s three year develop­ment plan.

Macuata Women rugby head coach Motu Lagalagavesi said the initiative was a partnership with Fiji Rugby Union as they seek to harness talent available in the province.

“There has been a lot of inter­est from women, especially school leavers,” Lagalagavesi said.

“I think a lot has to do with the Fijiana and their success in the in­ternational sevens. This is a good platform for them to be able to one day be part of competition and make the national team.”

Lagalagavesi believes all rugby development for both men and women begin at the grassroots level.

“Schools are the best place to be­gin developing rugby players. In Fiji, women rugby is a minority sport and we can’t compare our­selves to the boys,” she said.

“For development, the boy’s com­petition starts from kaji level but none for the girls and we need to have that but we are punching above our weight.

“It’s good the women’s compe­tition is now introduced in this year’s Skipper Cup Premier com­petition as we need skilful players who have knowledge in rugby.

“We need to see the girls compet­ing for places like the men.”

She believes that at a young stage, children are more akin to naturally learn the sport which doesn’t come hard on players from the Pacific.

“There is no island in the Pacific that doesn’t know how to play rug­by or sevens. There are a lot of un­touched raw talents, but the talents go nowhere if the needed guidance is not provided,” she said.

“With more programmes to be introduced at the grassroots level for girls, more exposure is needed for schools that have women rug­by teams. For Fiji, the rugby pool overflows, there is immense talent and it just needs to be harnessed.

“They should be exposed more and sent overseas more to coun­tries like New Zealand and Aus­tralia where they can play other schools and develop networks with those schools that have become powerhouses in the men and wom­en’s grades,” she said.

READY FOR NADI

The Macuata Women’s rugby team are hoping to create major upset for the Vodafone Women’s Rugby Cup tournament in Nadi.

Lagalagavesi said: “We’ve se­lected some experienced players already. It’s just a matter of getting in new players to be able to comple­ment the team,” she said.

“Our under- 15, 17 and 19 are aim­ing to win the three trophies and these girls have been training hard so they could achieve their aim,” she added.

The tournament will be held on December 12 with women teams from around the country are ex­pected to participate.

– Edited by Leone Cabenatabua

Feedback: nacanieli.tuilevuka@fijisun.com.fj

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