Timoci Wainiqolo and Tim Walsh believe the Bayleys Fiji Coral Coast Sevens will be invaluable for the upcoming international season.
Currently preparing for the Oceania Sevens, Wainiqolo, the Fiji national women’s coach, has confirmed that two Fijiana selections will play for the Crest Na Iri Trophy on November 14-16.
“The opportunity to trial players, combinations and game plans at the Bayleys Fiji Coral Coast Sevens is very timely ahead of Dubai,” said Wainiqolo. “Competing against the Aussie Pearls, the defending champions, and other overseas teams will help our squad for the season ahead.
“Plus we can start to blood 19 and 20-year-olds for the Rio 2016 Olympics as other countries are developing the game quickly.”
Wainiqolo coached the Fijiana to the Bowl championship at the Rugby World Cup Sevens in Moscow in June, where they beat the Netherlands 12-10 in the final.
And with the expansion of the IRB Women’s Sevens World Series the Fijian girls will attend three international tournaments this season, the first at Dubai less than two weeks after the tournament at Lawaqa Park.
The Aussie Pearls’ new coach, Tim Walsh, is also welcoming the tournament in Sigatoka.
“As the spiritual home of rugby sevens there’s no doubt Fiji is a great place and the Coral Coast Sevens is a quality tournament which is excellent for our preparation,” said Walsh. “We will be coming both to win the Crest Na Iri Trophy and develop players for the future.
“Sevens is such a growing sport with girls transitioning from other sports as well as coming through the schoolgirl tournaments,” he continued. “There’s some fantastic young talent out there which will be great for everyone to watch in Fiji.”
Club teams from Australia have also confirmed for the women’s competition which will grow from eight to 10 teams. Two other international sides are due to be announced.
Twenty-four men’s teams will also take part in the tournament, which is sponsored by Bayleys Real Estate (Fiji), Goodman Fielder Fiji, Total Fiji Ltd, Fiji Airways, Outrigger on the Lagoon • Fiji, Warwick Fiji Resort & Spa, The Naviti Resort, Fiji Hideaway Resort & Spa, Coastal Rental Cars, Shangri-La’s Fijian Resort & Spa, Nivea Men, Tappoo Group of Companies, Fiji Chemicals Diversey, Serevi Rugby and Sigatoka River Safari