The four international teams participating in the Crest Na Iri competition will add flavour to this year's Mana Whey Fiji Coral Coast women's 7s competition.

The teams are Japan, Hong Kong, Vanuatu and the Stars (USA) will compete against the local players in the quest for the top prizemoney of offer.

And with the Fiji Airways Fijiana 7s team fielding a development side since the main team will be preparing for the HSBC World Sevens Series, the chances to win the top event will be good for these four overseas teams.

But again it will not be smooth sailing as other local teams such as Striders, Savusavu and Snax Nadi Aviators will also compete for the top award.

Tournament founding chairman Jay Whyte said the inclusion of the overseas teams would lift the standard of the competition.

"The increase in team numbers for the women competition is exciting, with the potential to reach 16 teams this year," he said.

"The interest from overseas teams adds further opportunity for local players to be exposed to high level 7s rugby.

"Some new local teams will be joining the competition which shows the growth and development of women's rugby in Fiji and the opportunities to expose female Fijian players to national and international audiences via TV and live stream, in addition to exposure in front of the national coaches.

"It will be a great experience for local players to be able to play against national teams from overseas."

The nine teams confirmed so far include Fijiana, Japan, Hong Kong,Vanuatu, Stars (USA), Nadi Blazers, Snax Nadi Aviators, Savusavu and Striders.

The women's competition kicks off on January 19.

Fiji Times

Raymond Nasse

Sports Editor

raymond@dailypost.vu

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