Rugby

2nd February

Preseason trial match: Western Force next for Fijian Drua

The Swire Shipping Fijian Drua will play the Western Force in their second trial match in preparation for the 2023 Shop N Save Super Rugby Pacific season on February 16. The match will take place...

Three uncapped players in trimmed England squad

(Reuters) – England head coach Steve Borthwick has kept three uncapped players in his trimmed 29-man squad for their opening Six Nations match against Scotland on Saturday. Jack Walker, Ollie Hassell-Collins and Fin Smith are the three new faces who keep their places, but Toulouse flanker Jack Willis, Sale lock Jonny Hill, and props Joe...

Rugby: Nayacavou now coaching; to select British Army men’s squad

Former Scotland 7s forward Joseva Nayacavou is the new head coach of the British Army men’s 7s team. As a player, Nayacavou was one of the key cogs that made the Army 7s team one of the most respected outfits in the UK. In the process, he showcased the talent that would yield selection in...

Savea praises Johnstone’s ‘courageous’ decision to come out as gay

(Reuters) – Ardie Savea said former New Zealand prop Campbell Johnstone was “pretty courageous” for deciding to publicly come out as the first gay All Black. Johnstone, who played three tests in 2005, said on a television programme on Monday he had been “living a lie” and leading “a double life” before acknowledging his sexuality....

Ireland must relish top ranking in world rugby says Beirne

(Reuters) – Ireland must learn to embrace the expectation and scrutiny that comes with being the top ranked rugby team in the world, experienced forward Tadhg Beirne said on Tuesday. Ireland will start this year’s Six Nations Championship leading the World Rugby rankings but have a difficult opener away to Wales at the Principality Stadium...

Wales coach Gatland opts for experience in Six Nations opener v Ireland

(Reuters) – Wales coach Warren Gatland has included lock Alun Wyn Jones in his starting XV to face Ireland in their Six Nations opener at the Principality Stadium on Saturday, having opted for experience in his first selection since returning to the role. Jones is the most capped international in rugby history with 155 appearances...

Rugby-Former NZ prop Johnstone becomes first All Black to come out as gay

(Reuters) – Former New Zealand prop Campbell Johnstone has become the first All Black to come out as gay, saying on a television programme on Monday he had been “living a lie” and leading “a double life” before acknowledging his sexuality. Johnstone, who played three tests in 2005, had already told his family and close...

1st February

Proceeds from 7s tournament to go towards rebuilding a church

Funds raised from the RC Manubhai Natalaira 7/14 Sevens tournament will be used to rebuild a church destroyed during Severe Cyclone Winston. The tournament will be held on February 23-25 at the Natalaira Village ground in Dawasamu, Tailevu. RC Manubhai group marketing manager Atish Singh said sponsoring the event was “part our community duty to...

Classmates meet again on rugby paddock

“It’s just really special to play competitive rugby with someone you grew up with.” Swire Shipping Fijian Drua lock Chris Minimbi labelled last week’s pre-match with the Melbourne Rebels a special one since he was playing against former classmate Angelo Smith. The two attended Marist Brothers High School in their two final years of school...

Ravai joins Queensland Reds

Flying Fijian Peni Ravai has bolstered the Queensland Reds prop stocks for the 2023 Shop N Save Super Rugby Pacific season, signing on a one-year deal. The 32-year old brings 36-matches of Test Rugby experience to Ballymore, with his ability to play both sides of the scrum boosting Queensland’s front row depth after long-term injuries...

Wardens to defend title; PM Rabuka to grace tournament

Wardens Gold will defend the men’s category during the 36th Fiji Bitter Nawaka 7s tournament which will kick off at Prince Charles Park in Nadi on Friday. The side defeated Police White 10-5 in the main cup final last year. Penijamini Davetalevu scored the winning try for Wardens Gold in extra time to lift the...

Fiji 7s sets Paris target; Team to keep pushing for top 4

The Fiji Airways Fiji 7s men’s team will be targeting the elimination stages of the remainder of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series tournament in a bid to get direct qualification to the 2024 Paris Olympics. The Ben Gollings-coached side is placed in fifth position in the series following the Sydney 7s last week. With...

31st January

Gollings races against time

With less than three weeks to prepare for the Los Angeles 7s tournament in the US, Fiji 7s men’s team head coach Ben Gollings will have limited time to put together a team. Gollings will use this weekend’s Fiji Bitter Nawaka 7s to asses injured players and also look out for new ones. The HSBC...

Top teams set to roll

As of Sunday only one place is left for the 36th Fiji Bitter Nawaka Sevens men’s competition. Tournament director Ilimeli Navula said preparation had been good and they were looking forward to the games this weekend. “As of yesterday (Sunday), only one place is left for the men competition to make the 48 teams,” he...

Ravai signs one-year deal with Queensland Reds

Fijian prop Peni Ravai has signed a one-year deal with the Queensland Reds for the 2023 Shop N Save Super Rugby Pacific season. The 32-year-old debuted for Fiji in 2013 and takes with him 36 matches of Test experience to the Reds. Ravai had been plying his trade for Clermont in the French Top 14...

Former NZ prop Johnstone becomes first All Black to come out as gay

(Reuters) – Former New Zealand prop Campbell Johnstone has become the first All Black to come out as gay, saying on a television programme on Monday he had been “living a lie” and leading “a double life” before acknowledging his sexuality. Johnstone, who played three tests in 2005, had already told his family and close...

Tough pill to swallow

Fiji’s hope of retaining the Sydney 7s title was dashed after a young and determined South African side shocked the Ben Gollings-coached side 31-12 in the second cup semi-final in Australia on Sunday. “Yeah, it was a tough pill to swallow that game against South Africa, we didn’t help ourselves by controlling the ball and...

Teams improve standings

Despite the Ben Gollings’ serious approach to try and claim the Sydney title, the side lifted its performance from a dismal eighth spot in Hamilton New Zealand to collect a bronze medal on Sunday. The men’s and the women’s side improved too on the overall points standings. The men’s side is in fifth place in...

Drua v Crusaders tickets go on sale

Tickets for the blockbuster Shop N Save Super Rugby Pacific match between the Swire Shipping Fijian Drua and the Crusaders are now on sale. This much-anticipated encounter between the Drua and the defending Super Rugby Pacific champions is scheduled for March 11 in Lautoka. The match, which will kick-off at 3.35pm, will be the Drua’s...

More work needed

Swire Shipping Fijian Drua coach Mick Byrne says they will need to work on a few areas before their Shop N Save Super Rugby Pacific season kicks off against Moana Pasifika on February 28. The match will be held at Mt Smart Stadium in Auckland, New Zealand in what will be a Pacific battle between...

30th January

Police on a mission

The Police teams are on a mission to keep lifting their performance at the 36th Fiji Bitter Nawaka 7s this weekend. The men in blue which recently won the 1st Fiji Bitter Welagi 7s two weeks ago know what is expected from them when they march into Prince Charles Park in Nadi. Coach Sale Tubuna...

Weak defence costs 7s team

The Fiji Airways Men’s 7s team were weak in defense that cost them the semi-final match against South Africa 31-12 in Sydney. Fiji had an early advantage but opted for a scrum which they failed to win and South Africa capitalized on that resulting a converted try. Leading 7-0, Fiji again failed to showcase their...

Small things count in 7s – Tubuna: Team needs to pay attention on certain areas

The Fiji 7s men’s team needs to pay attention to small things as it counts and lack of preparation was the downfall of the Fiji Airways Fiji 7s men’s team at the Sydney 7s yesterday, says Police head coach Sale Tubuna . The dream of defending the title was crushed when they tumbled out in...

It’s a blackwash: New Zealand women and men do the double at Sydney Sevens

Anything the New Zealand rugby sevens women can do, well, the Kiwi men can manage just as impressively. That was the case at least in the Sydney leg of the world series at Allianz Stadium on Sunday night as the Black Ferns women and New Zealand men made it a memorable Kiwi double with dominant...

29th January

Sydney 7s: Fiji wins bronze

The Fiji Airways men’s 7s team finished in third place and took out the bronze medal at the Sydney 7s after a convincing win over France, 29-5. Fiji led at halftime 17-5, with two tries to Iowane Teba and one through Vuiviawa Naduvalo. This was despite France scoring the first try in the first half...

Sydney 7s: Fiji men’s side lose to South Africa in Cup semis

The Fiji Airways men’s 7s team has been bundled out of the Cup competition at the Sydney 7s after being defeated by a determined South African side in the semi-final, 31-12. South Africa dominated possession in the first spell and had a comfortable lead going into half-time, 17-0. Iowane Teba and Vuiviawa Naduvalo scored Fiji’s...

Tazim gives back

The Vatuwaqa Rugby Club and Flick Hygiene continued their seven year relationship yesterday. The club was grateful to businessman Mohammed Tazim for sponsoring their rugby kits. Tazim owns Flick Hygiene and said it was all about giving back to the community where he grew up. “I know how difficult it is for the players to...

Fijiana needs to play smart

The Fiji Airways Fijiana 7s team will need to play smart if they want to win the Sydney 7s. Coach Saiasi Fuli said since they were in one of the toughest pool they need to work hard to get to the top. “We are prepared well mentally during the week,” he said. “We know that...

Coach hails reps urgency

Head coach Ben Gollings says the players are well under control after a successful three win at the Sydney 7s. The Fiji Airways-sponosored 7s team beat Tonga 52- 7, Japan 54-0 and France 19-12 yesterday. Gollings said they had to set their benchmark against Tonga and Japan and it has been a good start. “It...

Vakacegu says it ‘worth the travel’

Traveling all the way down from Suva to Nadi to watch the Swire Shipping Drua take on the Melbourn Rebels at the Prince Charles Park was worth it, says Vesidrau Vakacegu. The 44-year-old said the four-hour bus ride was worth it and gave his praises to the Drua for a thrilling game. “It was such...

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