The Fiji’s Coral Coast Sevens returns after a two-year absence in January 2023 with a strong line up, a big name ambassador, renewed financial support and elevation into Fiji’s Super Sevens Series.
The 11 year old tournament, which began in 2010 with a dream to host a highly competitive final tournament which gathered premium Fijian rugby talent in one place for the benefit of Fiji Rugby selectors was postponed for two years due to COVID.
Now a part of the Fiji Rugby Union Fun Flavour Super Sevens Series circuit with further funding by the McDonald’s Family Restaurant, the tournament will take place in January 12-14 January just before the Australian leg of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens 2022-2023 season.
“Teams who take part in this tournament endure huge challenges to be able to compete in this tournament because they have to win a local qualifier to make it into the lineup of over forty teams. It makes the McDonalds Fiji’s Coral Coast Sevens title one of the hardest fought championship wins. We are grateful that we can work with McDonalds Fiji and the Fiji Rugby Union to elevate the tournament to yet another level,” Whyte said.
Marc McElrath, McDonald’s Fiji Managing Director said the company was committed to Fijian rugby. “Fiji Rugby unites the family of people who make up our beloved country. Our company is committed to families and this tournament is our way of ensuring our Fiji rugby talent remains supported,” Mr. McElrath said.
As part of the tournament’s family friendly vision, the McDonald’s Fiji’s Coral Coast Sevens will field an equal number of women’s team as men entries and equalize the prize money to winning teams.
At its last edition in 2020, the McDonald’s Fiji’s Coral Coast Sevens had 42 participating teams spread across 16 mens, 12 women’s and 16 youth teams.
“This year we are welcoming 16 women’s teams to the tournament, and we are also working with our very hardworking women’s movement to encourage a level rugby playing field. After our Tokyo Olympic bronze medal, it should be clear to all now that our rugby talent pool has equal parts men and women,” Mr. Whyte said.
“The abuse our women rugby players used to face just for playing this game thankfully has stopped, and it continues with us making sure the playing field is equal and remains equal.”
Tournament Ambassador 𝗖𝗼𝗹𝗹𝗶𝗻𝘀 𝗜𝗻𝗷𝗲𝗿𝗮, former Kenyan Sevens and 15s rep is the currently the world’s second top try scorer said he is keen to come to a country he dreams of playing against.
The 2008–09 IRB Sevens Player of the Year Nominee was top try scorer for 2008 /2009 IRB Sevens World Series season with 42 tries.
As Ambassador of FCC7s, Injera will travel to and stay in Fiji for one week during which he will meet and share rugby wisdom with tournament players and rugby fans.
Tournament Director Jay Whyte said the McDonalds Fiji’s Coral Coast Sevens, which was returning in its first post-COVID tournament, would be made bigger and more exciting by Injera’s inclusion.
“All the rugby greats who accept the invitation to be FCC7s brand ambassador are legends, and we work very hard with multiple local partners for months to make their visit possible. It is a great privilege to be able to bring Collins Injera and continue the trend of having a brand ambassador who will inspire,” Mr Whyte said.
“During the McDonald’s Rugby Skills Clinic for aspiring rugby players, Injera will share the message of making great rugby dream happen with measurable rugby goals. It is a major goal of the McDonald’s Fiji’s
Coral Coast Sevens to provide high level entertaining rugby which inspires but also educates.”
Injera joins the footsteps of other rugby greats who have been Coral Coast Sevens ambassadors which includes; Waisale Serevi, David Campese, Ben Gollings, Viliame Satala, Jonah Lomu, DJ Forbes, Karl Tenana, Lote Tuqiri, George Gregan and Rupeni Caucau.
The top eight teams from the 2021-2022 Fun Flavor Super Sevens Series have automatically qualification into the McDonald’s Fiji’s Coral Coast Sevens Series.
10 top tier overseas teams have also confirmed participation as tournament organisers work to ensure logistics week-long event will cater to the increase in interest to be on Fiji’s Coral Coast Sevens on July 12. Arrangements include a high-level organising committee and commentators from Australia and New Zealand.
“It is exciting to see rugby returning to the Coral Coast and to be able to bring back all the men and women of the region who volunteer their time to make this a high energy and high calibre event. The support and early registration we have received so far is testament to the high esteem that the McDonalds Fiji Coral Coast Sevens is viewed by the rugby fraternity.”
Whyte also paid special gratitude to the tournament’s naming rights sponsor McDonald’s Fiji for its continued long term sponsorship of the Sigatoka tournament and to Fiji Rugby Union whose support has enabled Injera’s first visit to the nation.
McDonalds Fiji Coral Coast Sevens works with the tourism industry and partners quite closely with the Coral Coast Tourism community to direct international attention and interests on the rugby province is on the field and on beautiful Nadroga Province.
“This tournament is the product of collaboration between the Coral Coast Tourism community and the rugby fraternity. With the partnership of five star luxury accommodation providers such as Shangri-la Yanuca Island Resort, Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort, award winning tour operator Sigatoka River Safari and the famous Natadola Championship golf course, this is a tournament that shows the best of Fiji.”
“We are excited to be able to stage this tournament again and to be able to attract so much interest
from our friends here and abroad,” Jay Whyte said.
MEDIA CONTACT: LICE MOVONO, Public Relations Manager, [email protected]