21 Mar 2005

Fiji announces public holiday to celebrate Hong Kong Sevens win

7:34 pm on 21 March 2005

Fiji's Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase has announced a public holiday to celebrate winning the Rugby Sevens World Cup in Hong Kong.

Celebrations started well before the final whistle in last night's final with the mass noise of parties and fireworks filling the night as Fiji beat New Zealand 29-19.

AFP reports that Mr Qarase says Thursday will be a public holiday which will see the celebrations continue into Easter weekend.

Proof of rugby's popularity in Fiji was evident when crowds left a live performance by Bollywood star Sonu Nigam in Suva to pack around a small television set outside the auditorium to watch the final.

In a display of running rugby, and led by Sevens legend Waisale Serevi, the win over New Zealand gave Fiji their first rugby title in two years and regained the world crown they last held eight years ago.