Rugby battle

THE 2017 HFC Bank Farebrother Challenge starts on Saturday at the home of champions Nadroga with incentives.

Sponsors HFC Bank and the Fiji Rugby Union, during the launch of the series yesterday, announced that monetary rewards would be available to the weekly Farebrother Trophy winner and the HFC Bank Ratu Josaia V. Bainimarama Shield.

The shield will be challenged by the top four teams that qualify for the Vodafone Vanua Challenge semi-finals.

“Five thousand dollars will be given to the winner of the Farebrother Trophy and $2500 to the winner of the Bainimarama Shield,” HFC Bank acting chief executive officer Raj Sharma said.

He said if the holders of the Farebrother Trophy would win every week; the amount accumulated would be given with an additional $10,000 at the end of the season.

If the Farebrother Trophy holder wins both silverware at the end of the series, then the Bainimarama Shield champion would be given back its title. If vice-versa, then the shield champion would keep both,

This is to help improve competitiveness among unions and motivate players to play well, Raj said.

The first challenge would be on Saturday at Lawaqa Park between defending champions Nadroga and challengers Naitasiri.

“The Fiji Rugby Union expects a tough battle as Naitasiri will be out to beat Nadroga to redeem their early exit from the Skipper Cup competition.

Naitasiri last won the HFC Bank Farebrother Challenge in 2013 and they have revealed that they will leave no stone unturned as they prepare for Saturday,” FRU chief executive officer John O’Connor said.

Nadroga has won the Farebrother Trophy for a record 81 times. In the Vodafone Vanua Challenge champion, Navosa will play Ovalau on Friday at 3pm before Nadoga hosts Naitasiri at 3pm on Saturday.

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