Former AB at forefront of local 7s tourney

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Former New Zealand All Blacks fullback, Mils Muliaina at Lawaqa Park in Sigatoka on Saturday, November 19, 2022. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU

Former All Blacks fullback Mils Muliaina will spearhead the 2023 Fijian Cup 7s tournament which will be held at Lawaqa Park in Sigatoka on November 21-22.

Muliaina, who also played for the All Blacks 7s team, will be in Fiji on Monday to join local sporting figures, government officials and corporate sponsors for the launch of the fifth Fijian Cup tournament.

The tournament is a partnership between the Nadroga Rugby Union, Fiji Airways and Tourism Fiji, and aims to showcase an impressive line-up of club teams from across the globe, all vying for the coveted Fijian Cup title in 2024.

Luke Mataika, the tournament’s head of sport, says the Fijian Cup is focused on placing a spotlight on untapped and emerging talent with over $50,000 in prizes for each sport, which includes return packages for the winning teams to defend their titles.

“This will be a true celebration of the game at the very heart of sevens rugby, in Sigatoka, Fiji,” Mataika said.

“So far, with our online interest platforms, we’ve had clubs from New Zealand, Australia, USA and Europe interested in coming to experience 7s rugby in the heart of the double Olympic Gold medallists.

“The Nadroga Rugby Union will host local qualifier competitions within their region in this inaugural year to pave the way for untapped local talent to showcase their gifts against international clubs.”

Mataika said the tournament was scheduled for 16 men’s and 16 women’s teams, with the intention to expand into youth grades in the coming years.

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