$500k boost

THE Fiji Rugby Union Skipper Cup prizemoney has, this year, increased to $30,000.

This is after the FRU received a sponsorship of $500,000 from CJ Patel for the Skipper Cup tournament.

At the launch of the competition at the Grand Pacific Hotel yesterday, FRU development manager Sale Sorovaki thanked the sponsors for their continuous support.

“Firstly we would like to thank the increase of sponsorship from $380,000 to $500,000 and thank you for identifying the talents in our union,” he said.

He said the sponsorship would help develop rugby at grassroots level.

“All our national reps are products of the local competitions.”

He also announced the inclusion of the 2018 women’s 10s competition in the Skipper Cup competition.

“This is a big step in gender equality and we are trying to increase women participation all throughout and we see rugby as part of that and establishing the women’s competition.”

Describing the event as a historical occasion for FRU, Sorovaki said the union would also offer contracts for coaches and players.

While the winning team will walk away with $30,000, the runner-up will get $15,000.

In the U20 grade the winner receives $10,000 and the runner-up will receive $5000.

The Skipper Cup draws were also released yesterday with defending champion Nadroga taking on Nadi next Saturday at Prince Charles Park, Namosi will host Naitasiri, Malolo will play Suva while Navosa will face Rewa.

Meanwhile, captains from each team also showcased their new kits for this year’s competitions.

Malolo captain Epeli Turukawa says they are ready to take on Suva in their first match next Saturday.

Suva captain Sireli Ledua says it will be hard to defend their title this year because of the intense competition. Rewa and Navosa are the two inclusions in the premiership.

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