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$1.7m invite

Rashneel Kumar
Wednesday, January 09, 2013

FIJI Rugby Union (FRU) has been provided a perfect opportunity to boost the Digicel Fiji sevens team's preparation for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

This after the invitation for the national 7s team to play in the Grand Prix Rugby 7s Championship which will be held in Los Angeles, USA from July 12 to 14.

The three-day tournament will feature 24 worldwide rugby union teams competing for the world record purse of $US1million ($FJ1.775m).

FRU chief executive officer Manasa Baravilala said they received the invitation from organisers USA Rugby and Grand Prix Sports last year.

"Fiji was one of the first teams invited and I confirmed our participation in 2012," Baravilala said.

Other top 7s teams confirmed for this tournament include New Zealand, England, South Africa, Australia, Kenya, Russia and Wales.

Pacific rivals Tonga is also invited while Samoa is yet to be confirmed.

Baravilala said the tournament, which would be played after the Rugby World Cup 7s in June this year, was a good build-up for the 2013/14 International Rugby Board Sevens World Series.

"Any tournament that features the world's best sevens team is obviously an attraction for FRU," he said.

"Apart from the lucrative prizemoney, the tournament and high level competition provides the Fiji coach an opportunity to test new players as he prepares for the HSBC 2013-2014 series and builds towards Rio Olympics 2016."

New Zealand Rugby Union CEO Steve Tew in a statement said, "Gordon Tietjens will ensure we send a competitive team that will include members of the All Blacks Sevens as well as some very exciting new talent."


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