25 July, 2018, 9:08 am
FIJI’S chances of hosting a HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series tournament will be tough, says World Rugby chief executive officer Brett Gosper.
He said the region had already secured New Zealand and Australia as tournament hosts but had not ruled out Fiji’s chances of hosting.
“Yes, Fiji has put in a very professional tender to host a tournament and we are evaluating that tender,” said Gosper.
“It is a tough table to get a chair at because in your region, you’ve got Australia and New Zealand. “And these two countries are not going to give up easily on their own tournaments. “But we are evaluating and will be deciding in September, other than that we cannot comment more on the bid.”
Earlier this year Fiji Rugby Union president Voreqe Bainimarama during the FRU Awards Night at the Sheraton Resort in Nadi announced that the parent body expected an overall economic benefit of $50m per annum if the country won the bid to host a leg of the 7s series.
He said Fiji would pull out all stops to do whatever was required to build the infrastructure to host the event. “We have the players, we have the fans and we have the ability to stage international events.
My Government is fully committed to making this happen,” Bainimarama earlier stated.
Nadi’s Prince Charles Park has been identified as the venue to host the tournament.
Meanwhile, Gosper has acknowledged the contribution made by Fiji to World Rugby.
He said Fijian players were known as the entertainers of the game and the Fiji 7s team continued to win many hearts. “Fiji offers an immense amount of entertainment and sporting culture to World Rugby be it in 15s or rugby 7s. “Most fans from other countries will have Fiji as their second favourite team as seen here at the world cup. “For these fans if their teams were not playing, they like to support Fiji. “Fiji brings a lot of love and passion to the game and great talents and we are grateful for that.”