THE country's biggest, lucrative and toughest rugby 7s tournament was launched at the Outrigger on the Lagoon Resort in Sigatoka yesterday.
The Bayleys Fiji Coral Coast 7s is fast establishing its brand as one of the best tournaments to attract champion clubs from across the globe to battle against the top 7s clubs in Fiji.
Chief guest Radio Sports New Zealand and former Olympic Games commentator Mark Watson admitted the Coral Coast 7s would be an ideal venue for world's top rugby teams.
And with the sport to be played in the 2016 Olympics, Watson believed the Coral Coast tournament would be the best place for overseas teams to test their combination.
"When I think of 7s I think of Waisale Serevi and Jonah Lomu's sporting backgrounds and I am honoured to be suddenly involved with this tournament," said Watson.
"You think 7s you think Fiji so if you want to gain a great understanding of what it will be like in the Olympics you need to understand Fiji 7s and its origin.
"The standard of 7s is amazing and the talents are unbelievable and come 2016 this tournament will be the choice of many teams around the world to come and develop and play against the Fijian boys."
Tournament director Nick Jordan said the tournament had grown from strength to strength since its humble beginning five years ago.
"This tournament is very significant we are having our fifth birthday this year and we are counting 100 days from now," he said.
"Teams are getting bigger and the sponsors have been impressive and overall the tournament is building nicely for the upcoming 2016 Olympics and we are nicely positioned in the spiritual home of the game."
Jordan said the sponsors have set aside $75,000 as prizemoney for the two-day tournament.
Bayleys general manager Philip Toogood said the tournament was the premier 7s tournament in Fiji.
"We are proud to be the 'tabua' sponsor and we are looking forward to a long future with the tournament," he said.
"This tournament has unequal prizemoney, unequal media coverage, unmatched star power and is the premier 7s tournament in Fiji."
Outrigger on the Lagoon GM Peter Hopgood said the tournament had a bright future and would attract more international visitors to the country.
"We as hoteliers are very excited about this tournament and its getting bigger and better each year," he said.
"We truly believed this is the harbour of sport in Fiji and we are proud to host the biggest 7s tournament in the South Pacific."
The tournament will be held at Lawaqa Park on November 13-15. Former New Zealand 7s star Karl Te Nana will be the ambassador of this year's tournament.