Marist 7s ‘Jewel in the crown’

Marist Rugby Club president Lawrence Tikaram (fourth from left), Paradise Beverages Ltd general manager Mike Spence, Paradise Beverages Fiji general manager sales and corporate affairs Joseph Rodan Sr and MRC committee members during the launch of the 2021 Fiji Bitter Sapphire Marist 7s tournament on Wednesday. Picture: SOPHIE RALULU

The annual Fiji Bitter Marist 7s tournament is expected to be the best this year.

This was revealed by the organisers and the sponsors of the tournament after it was launched at the Paradise Beverages Ltd headquarters in Suva on Wednesday.

Marist Rugby Club president Lawrence Tikaram, while not revealing the prize money for this year, said it would be better than past years and the tournament would be unrivalled in its organisation.

“This is the jewel in the crown,” Tikaram said of the 2021 Fiji Bitter Marist Sapphire 7s tournament.

“We thank you for having faith in the Marist 7s for this past 45 years.”

The sapphire name marks the 45 years running of the tournament. Paradise Beverages Fiji general manager sales and corporate affairs Joseph Rodan Sr said the popularity of the tournament had helped the Fijian economy. “We have done it for 45 years,” Rodan Sr said.

“We are proud that this tournament is the best organised in the region and probably in the world. We started 45 years ago. We are still here and we will be with them all the way.

“The popularity of this tournament has been felt with our products. For 10 years Fiji Gold was our number one, but Fiji Bitter has taken over and it was linked to the mileage from the Marist 7s tournament.

“We are proud to be part of the tournament. Our sponsorship helps sports and it’s an investment in helping the Fijian economy.”

He said the Fiji Bitter Wairiki 7s tournament helped in huge gate takings and other Fiji Bitter-sponsored tournaments. Paradise Beverages Ltd general manager Mike Spence commended the long-term partnership his company had with Fiji’s best annual rugby 7s tournament.

“It is a historical partnership and 45 years is a very long time. We are marvelled and we value our partnership,” Spence said.

Tikaram said 48 men’s teams, eight women’s and 16 teams from the age group of 18 to 21 will compete. The tournament will be at the ANZ Stadium in Suva from March 25-27.

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