Now in its seventh year, Fiji's premier sevens tournament draws men's, women's and schools teams from around the Pacific to Lawaqa Park in ‘Rugbytown’.
“The Fiji Coral Coast Sevens is the 'champion of champions' for the Pacific Rim and set to be another thrilling tournament in the electrifying new Olympic era,” said Jay Whyte, Founding Chairman. “With invitations being extended once again to the winners of partner tournaments the Samoa Independence Sevens, the Serevi Rugbytown Sevens USA and the UON Central Coast Sevens (NSW), as well as the best of the best from Fiji, the men's event is sure to have a fantastic field.”
Vaiala BBE won the Samoa Independence Sevens last weekend while the Sereivi Rugbytown Sevens is on August 26-28 and the UON Central Coast Sevens is October 22-23.
Defending champions Police, who last year beat Wardens 26-10, and TFL Fijiana 'Mokosoi', who defeated USA Serevi Selects 36-10 to win the Crest Na Iri Trophy for women, will be among the other teams on show.
“We were proud to become the first tournament to offer equal prize money for women this year and we look forward to continuing the sport’s growth on the back of the Olympic Games,” continued Whyte. “We are also delighted to bring back the Uprising Schools Sevens for the second year."
Whyte said there had never been a better time to be involved in rugby sevens.
“We congratulate Fiji on becoming back-to-back world champions and like all Fijians are incredibly excited about rugby sevens being in the Olympics and Fiji’s chances in Rio. We are confident the Coral Coast Sevens In Sigatoka in 2017 will help produce new Olympic heroes for Fiji.”
Newly-crowned DHL Impact Player of the Year Jasa Veremalua is one such player.
The Korotogo native, then aged 24, won the Campese-Serevi Medal as the best player of the 2012 Coral Coast Sevens while representing Red Rock and was selected into the Fiji national team shortly after.
Veremalua has now played 24 world series tournaments for Fiji and scored 52 tries.
Others who have won the Campese-Serevi medal since it was inaugurated in 2011 are Joji Ragamate (Wardens, 2011), Mosese Mawalu (Yamacia, 2013), Ilisoni Tavaiqia (Police, 2014) and Sevanaia Nadruku (Police, 2016).
Women’s stars such as Fijiana speedster Lavenia Tinai, who claimed the Jonah Lomu Medal for top tryscorer in 2016, have graced Lawaqa Park in the four years of the women’s competition.
“The Fiji Coral Coast Sevens is recognised as being one of the toughest outside of the world series while still being fun, friendly and down to earth,” said Whyte. “It is one of the highlights of the year for teams, sponsors and visiting media and referees and 2017 will be no exception.”
After three years as title sponsor Bayleys Real Estate is not renewing and a new title sponsor will be announced in due course.
FIJI’S CORAL COAST SEVENS ROLL OF HONOUR
2012 Red Rock
2010 Red Rock
2016 TFL Fijiana Mokosoi
2014 Aussie Pearls
2013 TFL Fijiana
2012 Aussie Pearls