Fiji confirmed to compete at Wellington Sevens

12:10, Jan 14 2014
Ben Ryan
TOP MAN: A triumphant Fiji sevens coach Ben Ryan after Fiji won in Dubai in November.

The Fiji sevens team will compete at next month's Wellington tournament despite its funding being suspended by the International Rugby Board.

The board has put its annual grant to the Fiji Rugby Union (FRU) of NZ$2.2 million on hold until "the union adopts key financial reporting, administration and governance reforms".

But Sevens Wellington general manager Marty Donoghue said today that Fiji would line up at the February 7-8 tournament at Westpac Stadium.

The Wellington tournament covers logistical costs for all teams, including food, accommodation and travel.

"We've had a discussion with the Fiji Rugby Union and know their players and coaches are preparing as per usual for the next two tournaments," Donoghue said.

"We're looking forward to having them back here in a couple of weeks, and no doubt they will bring with them that fierce rivalry and entertaining style of rugby that they always do."

The FRU is effectively controlled by military dictator Frank Bainimarama and has blamed its woes on earlier administrations.

"Please note that all these issues were inherited by this current FRU board and the board expects to clear up all these issues by end of May 2014," it said.

Fiji sevens coach Ben Ryan said last week that he had not been paid for three months and had to pay his own way to tournaments.

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Wellington Sevens Fiji supporters
PARTY TIME: Fiji supporters cheer on their team at the Wellington Sevens.

Fairfax Media