Rugby 7s offers relief for Fijians

Fife will host a fundraising rugby tournament organised by the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards in aid of the Fijian cyclone relief effort.

Sunday, 8th May 2016, 7:00 pm
Fijian soldiers, pictured cleaning their weapons during the recent regimental range package, are a big part of the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards.

In February this year, many of Fiji’s islands were devastated by a severe tropical cyclone with winds of 200mph and waves up to 12m high.

Dozens of Fijians lost their lives and tens of thousands were left homeless.

On Saturday, May 28, the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards will hold a charity rugby 7s tournament in Leuchars to raise funds to help those affected by Cyclone Winston.

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The Fijians' love of rugby makes a 7s tournament an ideal way to raise funds for the cyclone relief effort.

Fijians are a big part of the Royal Scots community, with over 30 Fijians in the regiment, many of whom lost a great deal in the disaster.

They have a long history of serving the British Army and, as well as showing dedication to the country, many of them have also added a great deal to army and regimental rugby.

Tpr Sokia is soldier in the regiment and army 7s player. His home in Fiji was destroyed by the cyclone.

He said: “Having been back to Fiji since that cyclone it was horrible to see the damage that was caused.

The Fijians' love of rugby makes a 7s tournament an ideal way to raise funds for the cyclone relief effort.

“It is very humbling to see the effort being put in by our regiment to support us and our families, and to help us rebuild.”

Also due to attend the tournamment is LCpl Semesa Rokoduguni.

A Royal Scots Dragoon Guards soldier, who has served in Afghanistan, he is an integral part of the Bath Rugby Club’s first team, and has one England cap.

Captain Ali MacLaurin, the regimental rugby captain, is keen to rally as much support for the cause as possible.

He said: “Rugby 7s is a large part of both the Scottish and Fijian communities, and is becoming an Olympic sport, so it is getting a lot more attention.

“This will be a great day to support the rugby community as a whole, and we would love to see as many people as possible at the event.”

The tournament has attracted both military and civilian teams from across Scotland and northern England.

The gates will be open to the public from 10.30am and the rugby will kick off at 11am.

In addition to witnessing some high class rugby, and being able to support an important cause, visitors will have the opportunity to learn about their local regiment.

The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards moved into Leuchars camp last year.

One half of the camp was recently renamed ‘Waterloo Lines’ by Her Majesty the Queen in recognition of the regiment’s illustrious past.