Fiji Rugby launch first ever women's academy

The Fijiana XVs qualified for their first World Cup appearance in December after winning the Oceania qualifying tournament in Lautoka.

Prop Lailanie Burnes said the new academy will boost the team's confidence heading into next year.

"This is something that we've been really dreaming about for such a long time and especially some of us senior girls who have come through over the years," she said.

World Cup qualification a boost for Fiji women's rugby

The Fijiana XV overwhelmed Samoa 41-13 in the Oceania qualifying final at the weekend to book their ticket to New Zealand.

Head coach Alifereti Doviverata said qualifying for the World Cup is a "historical moment" that will enhance development for women's rugby in Fiji.

"It means a lot firstly, for the development of women's rugby," said the former Flying Fijians captain.

"I think it has come a long way since its inception in Fiji and the rugby development officers, the CEO and staff have been working tirelessly to get some recognition in women's rugby in Fiji."

Fijiana finish strong at Kitakyushu 7s

After losing all three pool matches on day one against Ireland, USA and England, the Fijiana bounced back to defeat hosts Japan 28-17 before crushing Spain 41-12 in the playoff for ninth place.

It's Fiji second consecutive ninth place finish under new head coach Saiasi Fuli, who was appointed in December.

Fiji remain in 10th place in the overall World Series standings after four of six legs, three points behind the Spaniards but a whopping 21 points adrift of the top eight.