Fijian rugby turns 100

Last Updated: Thu, Jan 03, 2013 08:40 hrs

Suva (Fiji), Jan 3 (IANS) The year 2013 marks Fijian rugby's 100 years of existence and the Fiji Rugby Union has lined up fixtures leading up to its celebration.

The Pacific Rugby Cup in March has been planned as the sevens rugby geared up for the World Cup in Moscow in June, Xinhua reports.

Originally established as the Fiji Rugby Football Union, the Fiji Rugby Union was founded in 1913, and joined the International Rugby Board in 1987.

Given the 100th year celebrations, the union was bracing for a busy season this year and hopes to properly plan their domestic and international competitions to ensure there are no clashes.

The union's chief executive officer Manasa Bravilala said they hoped to mark the event with some test matches, details of which were being finalised. The centennial celebration would coincide with the 2013 Federation of Oceania Rugby Union annual general meeting which Fiji will host.

Fiji is one of the few countries where rugby is the main sport. One of the problems for Fiji is simply getting players to represent the country as many have been contracted in Europe or with Super Rugby teams where the money was far more rewarding. The repatriated salaries of Fiji's overseas stars have become an key part of local economy.

A significant number of players eligible to play for Fiji ended up representing Australia or New Zealand because of the cash attractions and incentives that are unavailable at home.

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