FIJI is not yet ready to host a leg of the International Rugby Board Sevens World Series.
The Fiji Rugby Union's efforts to impress the IRB in the two-day Fiji Water Centennial International 7s tournament that ended at the ANZ Stadium in Suva yesterday, fell short as it failed to live up to the expectations of the international body.
The IRB 7s manager Beth Coalter said they wanted to see more improvements in the infrastructure and the organisation of the tournament.
She said while the stadium was up to their expectations, there were a "few little things that needed improvement to make big things happen" in the future.
"The stadium is great. It certainly has the facilities to host an international standard tournament but there is still a lot of work that needs to be done with the infrastructure and the organisation and also with important issues such as the broadcasting," Coalter said yesterday.
"I'm a little bit disappointed (with the turnout). My vision of Fiji was that everybody loves rugby 7s and the stadium would be full but I know that's something that can be addressed."
FRU board member Berlin Kafoa said "the board knew it won't get it right the first time".
He said they invited IRB to assess the Centennial 7s and identify the areas that they needed to improve on in order to host a leg of the series.
"We wanted IRB to have a look and give us the to do list on the areas to improve on. Once we know the target then we know where to from here," Kafoa said.
Coalter, who will be submitting a report to the IRB upon her return, said the sevens game had evolved over the years and had become a professional affair.
She added the standard of the IRB 7s series was getting better as they approached the 2016 Olympic Games where the abbreviated code will make its debut.
"The player welfare is a major issue now in all the tournaments. All the existing tournaments have to look at what they do for the teams' food and nourishment, recovery, medical support, travel, liaison because everything has to be of high standard," Coalter said.
"There has to be one location for all the teams to have a level playing field. We can't have some teams staying in a different location. We want them to experience the same types of problems, if there are any.
"We need a stable rugby union that's got some experienced staff because it has to be the rugby union that organises this event.
"It has to be under their jurisdiction they run this and I think there has to be more organisational understanding.
"It's a grand stadium but I would like to see it full."
Coalter also said it costs about $2million to organise a leg of the IRB 7s series.
She added the IRB would be ready to assist FRU in improving the infrastructure and bid again for a leg.
Kafoa said they were hoping to have Coalter again next year to assess the improvements they were planning to implement leading up to next year's tournament.
He said the target was to host a leg of the 2015/16 series.
Coalter said Fiji was competing against other nations, adding only those who met the criteria would get the rights to host a leg of the IRB 7s series.