SPORTS

Series Champions 2019: Heroes Welcome

Mr Bainimarama’s comment came as team members and officials were accorded traditional iTaukei ceremonies of welcome at Nawaka Village in Nadi yesterday morning.
06 Jun 2019 10:00
Series Champions 2019: Heroes Welcome
Prime Minister and Fiji Rugby Union president Voreqe Bainimarama (front, third from right), with the victorious 2018/19 HSBC World Sevens Series, London and Paris 7s champions at Nawaka Village in Nadi on June 5. Photo: Nicolette Chambers

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama paid tribute to members of the victorious 2018/19 HSBC World Sevens Series champions yesterday after they arrived in Nadi.

They are also champions of the London and Paris 7s tournaments.

Mr Bainimarama’s comment came as team members and officials were accorded traditional iTaukei ceremonies of welcome at Nawaka Village in Nadi yesterday morning.

The PM, who is also the Fiji Rugby Union president, said the reps had put a name out there for themselves as being some of the greatest rugby players to ever represent the nation.

“From Cape Town to Hamilton, from Hong Kong to Paris, you’ve cemented your legacy as some of the greatest ruggers to ever represent our beloved Fiji,” he said.

“You’ve bounced back from the disappointment of last year’s series and made your triumphant return as the kings of sevens rugby.”

He acknowledged the leadership and commitment by coach Gareth Baber and team captain Paula Dranisinukula.

“Boys, with this World Series title, you’ve done more than inspire your nation, you’ve put yourselves in the best possible position ahead of the 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo. You’re the pride of your people, and your victory will live on through the ages.”

Hundreds of fans including family members and friends gathered at the Nadi International Airport to witness the team’s arrival.

Minister for Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations, Youth and Sports, Parveen Bala, confirmed that Government had given $5000 each to the 14 players while $2500 was given to coach Baber and the five-member management team.

Mr Bala said the players would also share a bonus pool of $100,000 given by the Fiji Rugby Union.

Feedback: nicolette.chambers@fijisun. com.fj

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