TOP provincial rugby players from Viti Levu will feature in a final hit-out to end the year on a high note.
Yesterday, the Fiji Sports Council introduced a 'state of the origin' format match which will feature the East against the West in the inaugural Pre-Christmas East versus West Rugby Carnival.
The first match will be played at the ANZ Stadium in Suva on November 30 and the second will be at Lawaqa Park in Sigatoka; the grand finale will be at the ANZ Stadium.
The East team will be coached by Naitasiri mentor Eroni Vereivalu and will be managed by former Suva player Saiasi Fuli while the West team will be coached by Nadroga's Esala Nauga and managed by legendary prop Jikobau Matawalu.
Council CEO Litiana Loabuka said the event was a reinvention of the former East versus West rugby championship of yesteryears that was enjoyed during the Hibiscus Festival.
"The Fiji Sports Council's intention is not only to revive the East versus West 15s rugby competition but also to organise a carnival-type sporting event for everyone," she said.
"The initiative mooted by the council is to stage a performance that covers everything and kicks off a massive Christmas celebration with a difference."
Loabuka said the same East versus West style concept would apply to the Kaji rugby and the secondary rugby teams upon confirmation.
"The council is taking care of the cost of the event from jerseys to training to allowance and prizemoney and we have allocated $50,000 for the event."
Matawalu, who is also the Nadroga Rugby Union president, said the concept would provide another level of competition for local players.
"This could be the last bridge to connect the gap between provincial and national level players," he said.
Entry fee to the grandstand will be $10 and $5 for the embankment.