PETERSFIELD Rugby Club continues its proud association with Fijians serving in the UK Armed Forces as it once again plays host to the UK Fijians seven-a-side tournament tomorrow (Saturday).
For 2017, the organisers have invited Bath and England winger Semesa Rokoduguni, England sevens player Isoa Damudamu, and Fijian player Apolosi Satala to join the celebration of family and rugby that the competition represents.
The Fijian High Commissioner to the UK, His Excellency Jitoko Tikolevu, will make a welcome return to Penns Place to watch the spectacle and present the trophies to the winners of the three levels of competition – bowl, plate and cup.
Last year, 20 teams took part drawn from different units, garrisons and military locations. Some players play for their particular units but others put together teams based on their provinces or church groups.
The competition, established in 2013, seeks to replicate the Fijian tradition whereby families from neighbouring villages get together.
The families sit around the pitches to pray, have fun with their children and support their rugby teams.
Family is very important to Fijians and rugby is a way of life, so gatherings around rugby games are very much in the national psyche and a big part of the community.
Fiji is one of the leading sevens specialists in the world of rugby, and current Olympic champions, and the pool games will be followed by the semi finals and finals.