2023 Hong Kong 7s: Historic returns for Fijiana 7s

Ana Maria Naimasi, left, and Tevita Daugunu in Hong Kong. Picture: MARTIN SERAS LIMA

Today marks a historic occasion for the Fiji Airways Fijiana 7s side as it will be their first time at the Hong Kong 7s under the women’s world sevens series.

Hong Kong has always been considered the pinnacle of 7s tournaments on the series and the last the Fijian women ran onto the turf at So Kon Po was 20 years ago where they scooped the bowl final, romping over the home side 34-12.

Fijiana head coach Saiasi Fuli said being able to compete in a world sevens series event in Hong Kong was something young aspiring players could only dream of.

“It is very good for the team to be here to compete in Hong Kong, especially for the first time,” he said.

Fuli said competing in Hong Kong would give his players the exposure and experience needed for the development of the team.

He said the girls would be better for the experience by “just being able to come here to experience the atmosphere and the history behind each and every Hong Kong 7s tournament over the years”.

Fuli said the players were privileged to be able to compete in Hong Kong, a venue that many consider the birthplace of Fiji’s sevens legacy and the place local rugby greats have gone on to become rugby superstars.

“There’s just so much history here in Hong Kong, where our national men’s team won the Hong Kong 7s on multiple occasions over the years.”

The Fijiana 7s side has been placed in Pool B with Australia, Brazil and Ireland.

The players know there is a lot riding on their performance, as it will determine whether they qualify for the 2024 Olympics in Paris.

“I’m thankful to the girls for their performance for the past three tournaments. I have a good mix of young and experienced players with me, so we are excited about our first game.”

The Fijiana face Ireland in their first pool game today at 5.04pm before playing Brazil at 9.04pm.

They will run out against Australia in their last pool game tomorrow at 1.55pm.

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