SPORTS

68 Teams For 44th Marist 7s

“We are going to reshape the format so we have 48 teams for men and it’s a three-day tournament,” Tikaram said.
25 Jan 2020 14:34
68 Teams For 44th Marist 7s
Marist Rugby Club president Lawrence Tikaram (front- third from left) and Paradise Beverage general manager sales and corporate affairs Joe Rodan Snr, Paradise Beverages general manager Mike Spencer during the launch of the Fiji Bitter Marist 7s in Walu Bay, Suva on January 24, 2020. Photo: Simione Haravanua

The 44th Fiji Bitter Marist 7s tournament will be played under a reshaped format on March 19-21 at the ANZ Stadium, Suva.

This was confirmed by the president of the Marist Rugby Club, Lawrence Tikaram during the launching of the tournament at Paradise Beverages headquarters in Suva yesterday.

A total of 68 team will take part in the three-day tournament.

“We are going to reshape the format so we have 48 teams for men and it’s a three-day tournament,” Tikaram said.

“For the women category, we will have eight instead of 12 teams while 12 teams will compete in the Under-20 section.”

Lawrence added the new format was in line with club’s vision of developing 7s rugby in the country.

“These changes has come along with strategic thinking about the future of 7s rugby in this country where we continue to expand around the younger age group. We need to provide time for the players to recover and play a good competitive tournament.”

More teams

Organisers of the tournament have set plans of having teams from all over the country to participate.

Tikaram believes the more teams to participate the better for the sport.

“The plan moving forward strategically now is to have more teams from all over the country,” he said.

“It is important that we have a dovetail into some of the tournaments that some of our sponsors do. For example the Wairiki 7s will have three or four allocations spots.

“The Nawaka 7s as well will be a qualifying tournament for those teams who wish to play in the Marist 7s so it’s basically like a mini 7s series here at home.”

Lawrence added the plans will all contribute to the growth of 7s rugby in Fiji.

“That’s where we want to develop 7s rugby in the country and will work with all other major tournaments and see how they can fit in and give them a fait share of the team coming from a respective region,” he sad

“This goes back to our aim of developing rugby at grassroots level it’s important that we keep that focus.”

International rules

Organisers will hold consultations with Fiji Rugby Union referees to apply international rules during the tournament.

With the number of yellow cards copped by the Fiji Airways Fijian 7s team, Tikaram believes applying the rules at the tournament will help the players.

“One of the key areas that we are looking at is the discipline that we face not only international but also at local level and will be trying to address that with the referees,” he said.

“It’s important that we embrace the changes for the betterment of the players for future international tournaments.”

Tikaram has urged all teams to register now to avoid last minute rush.

Edited by Leone Cabenatabua

Feedback: simione.haravanua@fijisun.com.fj

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