20 March, 2018, 12:00 am
Thanks for your editorial (FT 14/3) about our love affair with sevens rugby and the great support our sevens team have received in every venue in the world where the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series has been staged. Like your newspaper, many of us living abroad follow and support our Fiji sevens team as a way to maintain our connection with our country of birth.
That is why we turn up at different venues around the world wherever and whenever possible to provide the much needed lung power to support and cheer the boys and even share our curry and roti as was demonstrated by those in Vancouver last week.
Moreover we know that the Fiji rugby sevens team has not only become a global brand and a promotional tool for Fiji rugby but has also become an inexpensive advertising platform for the nation assisted by the “standout” and easily recognisable Fijian flag.
I know Gareth Baber has an enormous task ahead of him and is trying to lure some overseas-based players into the sevens squad to counter player burnout, in view of the tight schedule between the Hong Kong sevens and the Commonwealth Games.
As someone who helped transition Fiji rugby from its amateur status to professionalism, winning in the “mecca” of sevens rugby, Hong Kong, is more important than taking out the series and should become our focus right now.
Hong Kong is where our new found rugby solidarity and spirituality as a nation was born, established by our former players and coaches and it is still “holy ground” for many of us.
We can worry about the Commonwealth Games a week later. However, if Baber and his gladiators can win the series, the Hong Kong tournament, Commonwealth Games and the Sevens World Cup in San Fransisco, it will be Christmas in July for every Fijian on the planet.