French launch book on Fijian ruggers in France

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French ambassador Fran ois-Xavier L ger (left), Seremaia Bai and Franck Boivert with the book Les Fidjiens, Magiciens du Rugby during its launch in Suva yesterday. Picture: SOPHIE RALULU

The Les Fidjiens, Magiciens du Rugby (The Fijians, Rugby magicians) book was officially launched by the French ambassador to Fiji, François-Xavier Léger, at the Pacific House in Suva yesterday.

The launching of the book was to commemorate ties between Fijian and French rugby which dates back to 1988. This book was written by Gilles Navarro along with the aid of Franck Boivert.

According to Léger, the passion shown by Fijian players was very similar to that in France.

“I attended a sevens competition organised by Isireli Bobo lately and it was impressive to see many young players take part in the tournament, you could really see they were playing their hearts out,” he shared.

He said at the moment there more than 200 Fijians playing competitive rugby in France. He said the book was supposed to be launched a few years back, but could not because of many contradicting factors that were met along the way.

“Finally in 2021, we were able to start again from scratch and produce this book that you see before you.”

The book is published in French. It is about Fijian legends who have graced the rugby fields of France and their achievements and experience in a country so far from home.

Former Fijian fly-half and inside centre Seremaia Bai was present at the event as an invited guest.

He played rugby in France for eight years, competing in the Top 14 competition with ASM Clermont Auvergne.

“France has a very special place in my heart,” he said. He said he was honoured to be a part of the event as a former player in French Rugby.

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