The Fiji Rugby Union and major Sponsors Fiji Airways have unveiled a ‘Flying Fijians’ special jersey with an important COVID-19 advisory for the historic two-match series against the All Blacks.
The front of the jersey will feature a simple message urging all Fijians to vaccinate to protect against the harmful effects of COVID-19.
Fiji Rugby Union Chief Executive Officer John O’Connor said: “We are playing this historic test against the All Blacks, the first in 10 years, as our nation battles a devastating second wave of COVID-19. Both Fiji Rugby and our biggest partners Fiji Airways recognise that our responsibility towards the wellbeing of the Fijian people extends beyond the pitch.
We are humbled and delighted that our national airline has given up their prime ‘front of jersey’ space in this test series for the greater good, replacing their own brand with the message: ‘Vaccinate Fiji’. Our Flying Fijians will proudly carry on this message in the two games to encourage our people to get fully vaccinated to win the fight against COVID-19. Reaching vaccination targets will help our medical authorities save lives, restore lost freedoms and allow the country to return to a new kind of normal.”
Andre Viljoen, Fiji Airways Managing Director and CEO stated: “Some things are just more important and it is crucial right now for Fiji to recognise that vaccination offers a real lifeline in the current circumstances. So we thought what better way to spread the word than by replacing our branding with a message to help vaccinate Fiji.”
Flying Fijians Head Coach Vern Cotter added: “Our Fijian rugby players are famed at home and the world over. They inspire Fijians of all ages and are honoured to carry forward a message that will help our people and our country emerge from the COVID crisis. Normally we would see fans flying to watch the team play anywhere, but most fans are missing out on this historical match against the All Blacks because of restrictions in place. We hope Fijians choose to fully vaccinate so they can get back to supporting their favourite teams in person in any country.”
The first test against the All Blacks will be in Dunedin on 10 July, followed by the second test in Hamilton on 17 July.