2018 Skipper FRU Cup Premiership Launched in Suva.

The 2018 Skipper FRU Cup Premiership Tournament, was launched at the Grand Pacific Hotel in Suva this afternoon

The Skipper FRU Cup Premiership which consist of the Top Major Union Teams kicks off next Saturday, 14 April 2018.

“We would like to sincerely thank the Board and Management of CJ Patel Group for agreeing to continue to support the Fiji Rugby Union and more importantly the 2018 Skipper FRU Cup Premiership, the CEO FRU highlighted. Further, he sincerely thanked CJ Patel for maintaining their sponsorship despite losing one of their important asset, the Kaji Rugby, as such the sponsorship towards the 2018 Skipper FRU Cup Premiership has increased from $380,000.00 last year to $500,000 this year. FRU and Rugby in Fiji is thankful to CJ Patel for their commitment and passion in supporting, developing and enhancing our Domestic Competition

“This increase in sponsorship will allow the Fiji Rugby Union to follow through with the FRU Boards commitment to uplift the standard and competitiveness of our Domestic Competition and slowly move Rugby in Fiji from amateurism to professionalism. For the first time in the history of Rugby in Fiji, the Fiji Rugby Union will offer contracts for the Coaches, Strength & Conditioning Coaches, Accredited Medical Personals and 40 players representing the 8 Major Unions. This is historical and another milestone achievement in the transformation of the Fiji Rugby Union.

The CEO highlighted that there are specific criteria requirements that the Unions have to comply with prior to the finalization of individual contracts.

“We are working with the Unions and should finalize contracting arrangements prior to the competition kick off next week when the Unions will have submitted all their details of their Coaches, Technical Staff and players.”

“We are excited and looking forward to the competition kicking off next week. Most Teams had started to prepare early with early starts to their club competitions so they could select very strong Teams. Nadroga Rugby Union has introduced their own Super competition to prepare for the competition.”

Mr. O’Connor highlighted that we expect the competitions to be of a very high standard this year. We have had several advance Coaching Courses for the Provincial Coaches and strength and conditioning coaches earlier in the year in preparation of the competition. We have had courses for the match commissioners and are thankful to World Rugby for the engagement of World Rugby Match Official Chris Pollock to assist our match officials. He has already conducted workshops for our match official and will be conducting another workshop for all the match officials participating in the 2018 Skipper FRU Cup Premiership and Vodafone FRU Vanua Championship next Thursday to prepare our match officials for the start of the competition. Everyone is committed to delivering a very high standard of competition.

“We have for the first time this year also adopted tournament rules and regulations similar to that of the NRC competition so that our players become used to playing under such competition rules and guidelines.”

The CEO also highlighted that FRU has acquired a player registration and ID card software system and again for the first time all registered rugby players in Fiji will be issued Rugby Player registration ID Card. We are starting with the provincial teams and hope to register and issue player registration ID cards to all registered rugby players from Primary School to our National Team.

“We are indeed thankful to CJ Patel with for their sponsorship which has allowed FRU to continue to improve our service to the Union Members.”

“We are expecting a tough and exciting competition this year, but one with World Rugby Standards.  The FRU has engaged the services of World Rugby Referee Reviewer, Chris Pollock who will ensure that the standards of Match Officiating for each match and the players’ discipline at each match is according to World Rugby Guidelines.”

“Each participating Team will receive 2 sets of kits and 13 rugby balls and an initial cash grant once Unions have complied with mandatory requirements.

Speaking on behalf of the CJ Patel Group, Viti Foods Director, Ratu Inoke Tuisese said that they were proud to sponsor the tournament for the 5th year.

“Today’s launch marks our 5th year of Skipper Cup, and surely it has been an incredible journey and this year it will be even bigger and better than before.”

“This year, we have increased our investment from $380,000 to $500,000 for this series and I’d like to again stress, that this is an investment.”

“We are committed to continuous development, improving standard, allocating resources, sportsmanship and competitiveness of rugby and we know that investing in local competition is the best way to ensure ongoing international success.”

 The winning senior team will receive $30,000 and the U20 Winner will receive $15,000.

Nadroga were the winners for the competition last year with Namosi as the runner up.

The first round of matches will see Namosi play Naitasiri, Nadroga play Nadi, Suva play Malolo and Navosa play Rewa.

The CEO FRU is urging fans to come out in numbers and support their Teams. Winning this initial matches is very important.

The Launch for the Women’s competition is planned for next week.