Having a ball in floral pink

SURE, football is an important part of the Byron Bay Sevens, but so is looking fashionable while you're playing it.

Pink has been a favourite theme for one team, largely made up of former Wollongbar-Alstonville Pioneers, which this year will be known as Premium Blend.

They played in pink a couple of years ago and originally had 20 jerseys made, only to go on to sell about 200.

Last year they had a Spiderman-inspired strip, but this weekend they'll be back in pink, with a floral design thrown in for good measure.

According to team co-ordinator and former Pioneer Malcolm Watts, it pays to look good.

“For whatever reason the guys seem to really enjoy playing in pink these days,” Watts said.

“I know that seems to be a bit of a contradiction in terms - rough and tough rugby players playing in pink - but rugby players just seem to like getting out in pink.”

While Premium Blend still contain plenty of present and ex-Pioneers including Bill and Ben Johnston, Steve Mison, Tom Lynch and Tim Perkins, it also has a couple of pretty handy ring-ins.

Fijian international Vitori Buatava will don the pink floral jersey, alongside Queensland Reds player Scott Higginbotham and Australian Sevens representatives Will Brock and Paddy Dillet.

It's a pretty handy line-up and Watts believes his team will give the tournament a fairly good shake, along with last year's winners Fijian Uprising Beach Resort and the star-studded Southern Cross University X-Rats

“We'll have a pretty competitive side, I think we were only a golden point away from playing the Fijian side in last year's final,” Watts said.

“I think the Fijian team will be the No 1-ranked team, and the X-Rats will be pretty handy, as well as ourselves.

“We have a number of ex-Wollongbar players but are definitely an invitational team this year with a few current professional players.

“Obviously we want to play some really good rugby and have a great, fun weekend of enjoyment.

“It's also a good chance for some former Far North Coast players to have a run around at home.”

There are 48 teams taking part in this weekend's tournament - 32 men's teams and 16 women's.

Action takes place between 9am to 5pm each day with the finals set down for Sunday from 1pm.

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