Showcasing Fiji’s finest and best rugby players

BULA vinaka and welcome to the home of 7s in Fiji — 42nd Fiji Bitter Marist 7s.

What an incredible journey we have endured over the past 42 years to bring us here today. This can only be a story of legends for all the teams and officials that have endured since its inception in 1976. Our 42nd Edition of “Grassroots Rugby” is where all roads lead to the Fiji Bitter Marist 7s at the ANZ Stadium come March 23 and 24.

Our past flag bearers have kept the flame burning ever so bright, and with our current crew of 300 plus volunteers and 40 event directors, we stand ready once again to deliver yet another exciting journey in showcasing Fiji’s finest and best rugby players, in what is believed to be the Mecca of all 7s in Fiji for club rugby.

For us the sky and beyond is not the limit …. it’s our uninhibited passion and love for rugby that makes the difference in all of us as rugby passionate Fijians.

Our avid humble abode at the Marist Rugby Club 42 years ago gave birth to this organic idea, as we nurture and grow the dreams and aspiration of its founder George Reade and the Marist Brothers who gave support in its infant stages of 7s club rugby.

How fortunate we have all become, to be part of this incredible journey that has changed the landscape of how we now sit in the global stage of rugby.

The Marist Rugby Club recognises the fact that if we are to continue to succeed on the world stage, then we need to be masters of our destiny at home in the land of 7s. Our recent club association with World and Oceania Rugby in being the “hands-on deck” behind the scenes at two recent Oceania 7s, has fostered our global relationship in managing such big events in showcasing our local capacity of Fijians, who have the abundance of talent in taking sports 7s administration to another level.

This year we have an abundance of local rugby talent by the wide mix of teams coming from Fiji’s most rural areas and provides the perfect landscape of reaching our objective “grassroots development”.

For many the journey of preparation started last year and for some it will be their famous hunting ground for local rugby supremacy once again.

This year is a special year for all of us in 7s Heaven, as we journey to secure a bid for our very own homegrown HSBC series which we stand ready to serve and fully support, our bid for success at the Commonwealth Games, our 3rd title win claim at the World Cup, and reflecting back we can surely say our event the Fiji Bitter Marist 7s with all our sponsors and volunteers has been a big part of that development over 42 years ago.

In organising an event of this greatness, one can only imagine the logistic and time involved let alone the passionate hearts required to make it happen.

At Marist we have heart counts as opposed to headcounts and we pay tribute to the 344 hearts who will make it happen from our band of Marist volunteers. Our family of sponsors needlessly to say with our very own Fiji Bitter leading the way for the past 42 years is only what legend brands are made of. For this we salute Mike Spencer and Joe Rodan and his team at Paradise Beverages for their incredible unwavering support towards the Marist Rugby Club “a marriage made in heaven” and one where we renew our vows each year is a journey of a blessed lifetime.

To our family of old boys who have come forth willing to support our event with their staff and families, companies such as SMB, COMTECH, Williams and Gosling, Kundan Singh, Fresh Et /Onyx, LB Masters, Construction Focus, Oceania Logistics, RICOH, Shipping Services, Go Advertising, IRAVA Big screen Productions has just been awesome.

Vinaka saka vakalaveu for keeping the red fire spirit alive and supporting our own homegrown series of 7s.

Our other global brand of partners — BLK, Coca-Cola, Dulux Paints, Powerade, Fiji Water, Pacific Energy, Mana Whey, Vodafone, we say thank you for recognising that big brands matter so much to grassroots development and your support has been nothing short of inspiration for our volunteers and ruggers.

We value that alignment of brands are important at the ground level where your assistance has been a very big part of our journey. Thank you once again to our other local big brand partners names of Creative Design, I Crave, Fire and Ice, Lami Kava, JR White, Jacks of Fiji , Quality Print , Hangton, Communications Fiji Ltd, Fiji Sun, Fiji TV, SKAFFWORKS Games Village have all been phenomenal. Vinaka saka

To our very own men and women who continue to serve resolutely, Fiji Police, Fiji Military Forces , CWM and Fiji National University, St Johns, we say to all of you ..take a humble bow for your service towards looking after our event from security and medical personal, something we all take to heart at MRC as our players and fans have been at the forefront of our objectives.

To the Fiji Sports Council our partnership continues to flourish — vinaka saka for a great engaging world-class venue.

I salute all our event directors and volunteers, the passion runs high and our country continues to immerse in the sunshine of your efforts “stay blessed”.

To our 1476 plus rugby players, coaches and officials, the world is at your doorstep and we thank you for your continued support, its 42nd edition. It’s Super 7s at its best this weekend.

May all players imprint their mark at this event and may we remember them for their efforts .

Brother Samuel Eathorne, vinaka vakalevu sara for being there for the club as our patron guiding us always and to the Marist Brothers — we now continue to bask in the upbringing of equal opportunity of our education we have all enjoyed at our days at MBHS.

To Fiji Rugby Union it’s time as you have said — let’s stand together for 7s. It’s Fiji’s time now to show the world with our own edition of 7s rugby.

To our honourable prime minister and passionate old boy — Ratu Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama, vinaka saka for all your continued support towards our event and your government’s world-class bid for our very own first HSBS series ,we stand side by side ready to serve the world in true Marist spirit showcasing our passion and love for the sport .

Let’s all sit back now and enjoy champagne rugby in the land of 7s, the home of World Olympics champions where for us at MRC it all started 42 years for Marist at grassroots level .

From all of us at Marist Rugby Club (Marist Rugby, Marist Seahawks, Marist Saints /Volleyball) at Kaunikuila — we humbly say — vinaka saka na duavata.

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