Equal treat – New look 7s series impresses Fiji rugby boss

Fiji Rugby Union CEO, John O'Connor. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU/FILE

Good news for the Fiji men’s 7s and the Fijiana 7s teams as World Rugby has announced that all men’s and women’s teams will receive equal participation fees, with a 70 per cent uplift in participation fees in the new model Sevens World Series set to begin in December 2023.

The remodelled Sevens World Series will include seven rounds, in seven iconic global destinations, across seven months, kicking off in December 2023.

Fiji Rugby Union chief executive officer John O’Connor has welcomed the decision as till now, only the men’s side was receiving preparation grants from World Rugby.

“We have been advised by World Rugby of the new format and we are pleased in welcoming the good news. This will only help us prepare the teams in a better way for the tournaments on the series,” O’Connor said.

“We appreciate the work done by World Rugby in analysing the need for this change as now our women will also get grants which will help them perform better.”

“The increased grant will also give us the opportunity to treat our ongoing 7s programs in a professional manner.”

World Rugby chief executive Alan Gilpin said the reimagined Sevens World Series would be a game-changer for the global growth of the game.

“Research insights have demonstrated that sevens plays a vital role in reaching and engaging new rugby fans, particularly in emerging rugby nations and with younger audiences. World Rugby is fully committed to the sustainable growth, innovation and success of rugby sevens as a highly impactful and successful Olympic sport with a bright future,” said Gilpin.

“We have consulted widely with a multitude of stakeholders to achieve our shared aim of making rugby more relevant and accessible to more young people, more of the time, and in doing so, growing the reach of rugby while ensuring player welfare is sacrosanct and further cementing the successful positioning of rugby sevens on the Olympic sport program.”

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