Fiji scrap special 'vaccinate' jerseys hours from kickoff against All Blacks

The Fijian rugby team put on a brilliant performance against the All Blacks in Dunedin last night, but one thing was missing.

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Differing opinions on the jerseys within the team has seen them scrapped hours out from kickoff. Source: 1 NEWS

The team had been set to display a message encouraging their compatriots to get vaccinated on the front of their jerseys, but come game time, the jerseys were empty.

1 NEWS reporter Jordan Oppert revealed prior to kick off the jerseys were scrapped on the day of the game.

The team's media manager told Oppert it was due to "differing opinions on the issue" within the squad, while the idea was pushed by the team's main sponsor Fiji Airways, with players not even learning about the special jerseys until it was shown in the media earlier this week.

Fiji's jerseys were left vacant after a late change to remove a 'vaccinate' message from the playing kit. Source: Photosport

After the game, coach Vern Cotter told 1 NEWS it was a "very complex" situation.

"It was sprung on the players quite late in the piece without a lot of consultation and as you can imagine it's a delicate subject for some so it was probably better to just have a clean jersey at this stage and spend some time on how we want to best communicate on this matter and how comfortable the players and everybody are in communicating," Cotter said.

Fiji has been swept up by a rampant wave of the Delta variant of the Covid-19 virus in recent months.

The Pacific nation of just 900,000 people broke its daily record number of cases Friday, with 860 in the past 24 hours, as well as four deaths.

The total death toll since this outbreak began in April is 49, although an additional 19 people infected with Covid-19 who died have not been counted as medical officials say they had serious health conditions.

Fifty-eight per cent of the targeted population have been vaccinated with at least one dose of Astra Zeneca.

There will be two drive-through vaccination centres open Sunday in Suva at Albert Park and the Fiji National University.

Secretary of Health Dr James Fong had predicted numbers of daily cases would reach 800 - but it’s now surpassed this with worse to come.