THE Ovalau rugby side has pulled out of the 2012 Farebrother-Sullivan Cup Challenge leaving only six teams to challenge for the coveted cup this year.
The Luke Vulo-coached side was to be the first challengers, however, the Fiji Rugby Union website states they will not compete due to financial constraints.
Ovalau Rugby Union president Ratu Jope Sigaruarua told fijirugby.com that they wanted to be part of the challenge but could not afford it.
"It costs us a lot of money to prepare the team and then bring them across, there are travel fees, meals and accommodation to consider, which is very expensive," Sigaruarua said.
"If we had the money we would have loved to be part of the competition, but as agreed on by the Ovalau rugby executives, stakeholders, clubs and the vanua, we don't want to burden anybody financially and its best that we concentrate on the 2013 season."
Cup holders Nadroga released the challenger order for this year and executive committee member Tiko Matawalu told fijirugby.com that Tailevu will get the first shot at the cup.
"Since Ovalau has pulled out, Tailevu who was lined up for second challenge gets to take their place," Matawalu said.
The order and dates of challengers for the 2012 season is as follows: September 1 - Tailevu, September 8 - Northland, September 15 - Nadi, September 22 - Suva, September 29 - Naitasiri, October 6 - Lautoka.