China have reportedly asked Fiji for 200 coaches to boost their rugby sevens programme – a request the Pacific Islanders find impossible to fulfil.
Fiji National Sports Commission chairman Peter Mazey said after a visit to China that they were planning something big for rugby sevens and want the Fijians to help.
“On a recent trip to China we were told that China is developing sevens rugby in a big way,” Mazey was quoted as saying by the Fiji Sun.
“And they asked us if Fiji could supply about 200 coaches which was impossible for us as we had only three coaches who were accredited with level 3 qualifications.”
China recently had a US$100 million deal with Alisports – the sporting arm of ecommerce giant Alibaba – cancelled by World Rugby after a change of leadership at the top of the country’s rugby governing body.
World Rugby says it is continuing to support rugby in China but now without Alisports as partners. The Chinese want to develop sevens because it is part of the Olympic Games roster.
Their women’s team qualified for the ongoing HSBC World Sevens Series but are likely to be relegated at the end of their debut season. They won a silver at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta.
The men’s team are still developing and failed to gain a podium place in Jakarta with Hong Kong winning gold ahead of Japan and South Korea.