FIJI FIGHTERS: Emora Waqa makes a break during the grand final of the Noosa International Sevens Festival. Fiji won the event and are now in town for the 28th annual Byron Bay Rugby Sevens carnival this weekend.
FIJI FIGHTERS: Emora Waqa makes a break during the grand final of the Noosa International Sevens Festival. Fiji won the event and are now in town for the 28th annual Byron Bay Rugby Sevens carnival this weekend. Warren Lynam

Fiji turning up heat at rugby carnival

SIX teams will aim for the top prize while another 20 will compete in the social division at the 28th annual Byron Bay Rugby Sevens carnival this weekend.

Fiji Tabadamu are one of the top six teams and will be hard to beat after winning it undefeated when they last played at the two-day carnival in 2015.

They also won the popular Noosa Sevens on the Sunshine Coast last year but had to pull out of the Byron carnival after suffering a handful of injuries in that win.

Fiji Tabadamu play their first game against Gold Coast team Bond University at 10.20am, with other games across two fields at the Byron Recreation Ground.

Other teams in the top division include GC Fijians, Nadroga Stallions, tournament regulars Sunnybank and surprise addition the Kyogle Cockies.

The carnival often features Sydney Shute Shield, Queensland Premier Division and Australian Sevens players.

Elsewhere, there is a stack of Far North Coast teams competing in the social division.

Teams include Bangalow, Byron Bay, Lennox Head, Mullumbimby along with familiar faces Deadwood and The Mob.

There is also eight teams in the women's competition with Southern Cross University back for a second straight year.

They can expect plenty of competition from Sunnybank and Sydney University.

There will be plenty happening over the next two days with competition organisers aiming for a festival-type atmosphere.

"We've looked at what we've done before and wanted to step it up this year,” events coordinator Cale Watts said.

"We really want to get the festival vibe happening, and I know we'll achieve that.”

Games start from 10am both days, with the men's final expected about 3pm tomorrow.



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