Rugby | SPORTS

Fijiana Take on Black Ferns in 7s Opener

“A significant part of our work is to ensure that we are not just a team, but a connected and cohesive unit, especially in this tropical heat.” 
21 Sep 2023 13:07
Fijiana Take on Black Ferns in 7s Opener
Members of the Fijiana sevens side training at Suva’s Albert Park on September 20, 2023. Photo: Ronald Kumar

World sevens series women champions Black Ferns take on hosts Fijiana in the opening match of the inaugural Fiji Airways mini 7s tournament at Albert Park, Suva today.

While participating teams are using it as foundation for the coming season, the New Zealand women side, led by captain Sarah Hirini, is serious in retaining their spot as world number one.

Hirini led the Black Ferns to winning six of the seven series with Australia winning one to secure second spot last season.

Australia won the Dubai leg while the Black Ferns tucked away the Cape Town, Hamilton, Sydney, Vanouver, Hong Kong and Toulouse (France) meets.


On the points chart United States of America (USA) is third, followed by France, then Ireland, Fiji, Great Britain, Japan, Canada and then Spain at number 10.

Black Ferns head coach Cory Sweeny emphasised the importance of unity and support among his players.

“Support each other, connect as a group and building our game is crucial, and this tournament will test our physical prowess as we gauge our abilities against formidable opponents,” Sweeny said while acknowledging the strength of the Fijiana 7s team.

“Fiji is always strong, and playing against Fiji in Fiji is an incredible experience.

“A significant part of our work is to ensure that we are not just a team, but a connected and cohesive unit, especially in this tropical heat.”


Sweeny believes that participating in a tournament like this in Fiji should be a tradition.

“Fijians have an unparalleled passion for the game, and what better place to come and test ourselves?” he said.

“This experience will prepare us exceptionally well for the upcoming World 7s Series in Dubai next month.”

Meanwhile U.S.A. (United States of America) is not taking part in the first of the two mini 7s series that kicks off today.

The team will participate in the second leg at Lautoka’s Churchill Park from September 22-23.

“This week, they are playing in another tournament in America, and they’ll be here next weekend,” Fijiana sevens coach Saiasi Fuli said.

“There is no prize money. It’s not a competition where there is a winner, we are running a format like the Olympics so it’s maximizing every minute and every game.”


The draws: 

Today: 9.30am Fiji v NZ, 9.50am Aus v France, 10.10am Break. 1pm Fiji v France, 1.20pm Aus v NZ, 1.40pm Break, 4pm Fiji v Aus, 4.30pm NZ v France. Tomorrow: 9.30am Fiji v France, 9.50am Aus v NZ, 10.10am Break, 1pm Fiji v Aus, 1.20pm NZ v France, 1.40pm Break, 4pm Fiji v NZ, 4.30pm Aus v France.



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