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Fiji Time: 2:21 AM on Thursday 24 April

/ Front page / Sport

Early start to series

Arin Kumar
Sunday, December 15, 2013

ORGANISERS of the East versus West Challenge are looking at hosting the tournament earlier next year.

Fiji Sports Council chairman Peter Mazey said they had received requests from coaches and managers to have the tournament earlier in the year to allow national selectors to pick players for overseas tours.

"This year, we had the tournament while some of the top players in the country were overseas with the Flying Fijians side and some were playing in the Sukuna Bowl competition," he said.

"But we have received requests to have the tournament early next year so the national selectors can see the top players in action so that they can identify the best players for overseas tours."

Mazey said they were looking forward to working with the Fiji Rugby Union to make the event bigger and better next year.

"This is the first time in many years that this competition has been held and we took it upon ourselves to host it.

"Actually, it's not the job of the Fiji Sports Council to organise competitions like this and we would have loved for the FRU to organise it.

"But we are going to work with them to make the event bigger and better and more enjoyable for the people of Fiji."

Mazey said sponsorship would not be an issue because the competition was the highest level in the country.

"This is bigger than the provincial rugby and Farebrother Sullivan Trophy competition.

"Actually it's the best players from the provincial competition and the Farebrother competition who are playing here.

"So in terms of sponsorship, it's not just about getting your name out there but about supporting and contributing towards the development of the sport in the country and sponsors are willing to do that.

"So definitely the challenge will be back next year and will be a notch higher than this year."

The opening game was held at the ANZ Stadium while the second was held at Lawaqa Park in Sigatoka.