Rugby World Cup 2011

'Fiji will be at the RWC'

2011-06-16 15:28

Paris - Fiji will take part in this year's Rugby World Cup in spite of a New Zealand visa ban on anyone associated with the Pacific island's military junta, according to Mike Miller, the secretary general of the International Rugby Board (IRB).

"Fiji will be at the Rugby World Cup and will have a competitive team," Miller told a press conference in Paris on Thursday.

"Discussions are taking place and we hope to resolve the issue as best as we can.

"Fiji will take part but what the (New Zealand) government has clearly said is that any players with connection with the military will not be given visas".

Since the coup of 5 December 2006, the New Zealand government has barred entry to anyone linked with the leadership of Voreque Bainimarama, notably the military.

The problem for the Fijian rugby team is that five or six of their likely squad for the World Cup are in the army. However, Miller brushed the issue aside.

"If there is any concern on how good the Fijian team will be, just look at the number of their players based in Europe (playing professionally) or elsewhere and how many come from Fiji itself. Those with military connections will be domestic players," said Miller.

The IRB has not placed a time limit on Fiji's participation although president Bernard Lapasset said that if Fiji ultimately did not take part then Uruguay, who were knocked out in the final qualifier, would take their place.

Fiji have been drawn in pool D with defending champions South Africa, Wales, Samoa and Namibia.

The World Cup kicks off on September 9 with the final on October 23.


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
  • Blitz
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @00:00
  • SS1
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @01:00
  • SS2
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @02:00
  • SS3
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @03:00
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Pool A


Pool B


Pool C


Pool D

Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team
Tank Lanning

Lessons learnt from RWC 2011

2011-10-26 16:45

A few vital life lessons from Tank Lanning's recent trip to New Zealand for the Rugby World Cup quarter and semi-finals. Read More

Rugby World Cup Wallpapers

Download your favourite RWC wallpaper here



Current Conditions

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.