Taveuni teams ready

RUGBY tournaments on Taveuni have exposed underdog teams of the island who now have gained national recognition.

Organisers of rugby tournaments including the upcoming Fiji Bitter Wairiki Sevens (Taveuni) have seen the transition over the past 10 years.

Committee executive Jone Katoni said teams such as the First Light Taveuni and Cross of Victory had produced talented players.

“Ten years ago, popular and strong teams from Viti Levu used to come and play, beat us and go back with the winning prize,” he said.

“But now, it’s a tough battle because we have strong rugby teams on Taveuni such as First Light Taveuni and Cross of Victory.

“These teams have produced good and stronger players who have pushed players such as Lemeki Tulele into the national team.”

Katoni said the formation of Cross of Victory team by former First Light Taveuni assistant coach Qiolele Tikoilabasa and friends proved that there were many talented players on the island.

“It’s a new team that was just recently set up but they have been winning rugby tournaments locally and one in Samoa,” he said.

“Taveuni has good rugby players and tournaments over the years have helped developed the untapped skills of our boys.

“That is why today, the island has two strong teams that people should watch at our Fiji Bitter Wairiki Sevens at the end of this month.”

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