Fiji’s touch rugby teams secured Bronze in both the men’s and women’s categories at the 2023 Pacific Games, replicating their success from 2019.
Despite aiming for Gold, the teams are elated with their achievements given the challenges in preparation.
The men won 5-2 against Niue, while the women narrowly edged out Cook Islands with a 7-6 victory.
As they gear up for the mixed competition that starts today at DC Park in Honiara, the focus is on improving performance and securing another medal.
The teams comprised over 50% young players, deviating from the initial plan of having mostly experienced players. Seven new faces joined the women’s squad, and five young players made their mark in the men’s team, reflecting a strategic shift for touch rugby in Fiji.
Preparation was bolstered by support from the Australian Government through Pacific Aus Sports.
Renowned touch rugby experts, including Gavin Shuker, Trad, and Natalie Little, conducted training camps at the Sigatoka Sand Dunes and Colo-i-Suva. Local competitions and the Fijian Cup last week were crucial in testing different combinations.
In the mixed competition, Fiji begins proceedings against Samoa and also competes against Niue and the host team. Tomorrow, they conclude round-robin games against Papua New Guinea and the Cook Islands. The top four finishers qualify for the semis scheduled for Saturday morning, culminating with the finals at 3:10 pm (local time).