Fiji in line to host World Series?
SEVENS NEWS: New Zealand has shelved plans to transfer its round of the Sevens World Series to Fiji next year, but is working towards a possible shift to the Pacific island nation in 2023.
As Fiji crashed out of podium contention in the Hamilton round of the world circuit on Sunday, New Zealand Rugby official Nigel Cass provided a silver-lining by revealing talks were underway to have Fiji host a round of the world series.
Although no decision has been made about the 2021 venue, Cass confirmed it would not be Hamilton nor Fiji.
“We were working with the Fijians and were really hopeful of getting a tournament in Fiji for 2021. For next year, that’s not going to be possible in Fiji, [but] we’re not giving up,” he said, citing a lack of suitable infrastructure as an issue to be addressed.
Cass said they were looking at various options in New Zealand for next year, with the tournament returning to Hamilton in 2022 and with “a strong desire” to make it happen in Fiji the following year.
Fijians are passionate about rugby, particularly sevens where they are the reigning world champions.
In 2016, the country came to a standstill to celebrate the return home of the sevens side after they won their country’s first-ever Olympic gold medal at the Rio Games.
Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama said it was a moment to be cherished and declared a national holiday to honour the team.
However, they suffered a setback in Hamilton on Sunday with a surprise loss to Argentina in their final pool match which cost them a semifinal berth.