The Government of Fiji is hopeful of hosting a leg of the International Rugby Board Sevens World series having opened a new stadium in the country's capital.

Despite being the national sport in Fiji and being a side setting the standard with New Zealand since the worldwide schedule was introduced in 1999, the Pacific nation isn’t part of the current nine-event series that runs between October and May.

"One big development this year is the opening in March of our National Stadium in Suva," said Fiji’s sport minister Viliame Naupoto.

"It is to international standard with 20,000-seated capacity that will then allow us to get a leg of the IRB series.

"I think next year maybe is our first chance to get an IRB leg in Fiji and it will be exciting for a Sevens nation like us."

Naupoto was talking during the finals of the Uprising Sevens earlier this month in the north west city of Lautoka, one of the tournaments that includes teams from Australia, New Zealand, Samoa and Tonga.

However, IRB Sevens operations manager, Beth Coalter believes it will take time to come to fruition.

“What’s happening within Oceania is very exciting. There’s so many more tournaments taking place and I think if Fiji can host Oceania tournaments on a more regular basis, ones where there’s television and getting used to having to provide all the international standards I think would be fantastic to be in Fiji and it’s probably a place that all teams would like to get to.”


Posted on 05/02/2013