Fiji 7s to face NZ, Australia in Olympic warm-up

Fiji are set to feature in a new Rugby Sevens tournament later this month, to help boost team preparations ahead of the Tokyo Olympics in July.

The Fiji men's team haven't played an international match since the World Series were cancelled 15 months ago, while the Fijiana haven't played since the Sydney Sevens in February last year.

The players have instead been competing in a domestic sevens series to keep match-fit ahead of the Tokyo Olympics.

The inaugural PacificAus Oceania Sevens will be held at Queensland Country Bank stadium, from 25 to 27 June, with four men's and four women's teams from Fiji, New Zealand and Australia.

An Oceania Barbarians side in both the men's and women's draws will also be included.

The Australian Government is supporting the travel costs for Fiji's national women and men's sevens teams to compete in the tournament, through the Pacific Step-Up program, PacificAus Sports.

The $52m program aims to build sustainable elite sport pathways between Australia and the Pacific, with a major focus on women and girls.

The Australian Minister for International Development and the Pacific, Zed Seselja, said he was delighted to support an event that is critical for Fiji's preparations.

"Fiji's Sevens players are international heroes of the game - inspiring fans and uniting communities across Australia and the Pacific," he said.

"We are delighted to be supporting Fiji's travel to Australia to compete in this important event, which will be critical for Fiji's preparations for the Tokyo Olympics.

"This goes to the heart of the Fiji-Australia Vuvale Partnership - bringing our top teams together to succeed and thrive."

Oceania Rugby president Richard Sapias acknowledged the invaluable support from Australia and Queensland in staging the event.

"The impact of Covid-19 continues to be felt in all sports across the Oceania region, and without this targeted support we would not have been able to provide this much needed international competition for arguably the best Sevens teams the world has to offer," he said.

"Oceania Rugby and our participating teams are extremely thankful for the combined support of the Australian Government, Queensland Government and Townsville City Council, in enabling this tournament to go ahead."