Sept 6, 2015. In May, the Vodafone Fiji Rugby 7’s squad were victorious in the World Rugby 7’s Series, supported by over 1000 Fijian supporters organised by Fiji’s 8th Man – UK. With the world cup on the horizon and a final warm up game at Twickenham stoop, home of harlequins rugby, for many this game would constitute the final chance to see the Flying Fijians before they set off for battle against some of the tops sides in the world during the Rugby World Cup.
Fiji’s 8th Man – UK led by Lorraine Raiwalui-Suka and David Borrow decided to mobilise the support and, coined the phrase #ComeSupportasaNation as they planned to get the target of 300 fans to the game. With special thanks to Harlequins Rugby, Full Contact Events, the event promoters and British Army Rugby, for all the support they have given us in the promotion of our campaign.
Fiji’s 8th Man – UK in conjunction with Fiji Tourism have been able to organise a performance from CMFI High Teens and Youth Group Youth based in Southampton who will be performing the National Anthem before the game and also a performance during half time.
As with Fiji’s 8th Man’s effort during the 7’s at Twickenham the target of 300 was not only surpassed with the final figure standing at 495, and many more anticipated to buy at the Harlequins gates. This is surely going to be a home game for Fiji Rugby which may just resemble ANZ Stadium in Suva.
A huge proportion of Fijians in the UK and Europe hail from the Armed Forces and have, with the promoters, been able to grant an opportunity for children from the forces to attend a skills session before the main tournament.
Also, two very privileged Rusaqoli brothers will escort the Flying Fijian team onto the pitch as mascots. Fijians may not be as well represented at the Rugby World Cup games with as many spectators flying the Fiji flag but one thing is for sure this Sunday, Stoop will be entertaining both on the field and off for Fijians.