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Australia and NZ participate in strongest ever Oceania Sevens
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ARU Media Unit
The Federation of Oceania Rugby Unions (FORU) has announced that the 2014 Oceania Sevens will be played between 3-4 October alongside the Noosa International Sevens on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. The Sevens will provide the perfect launch pad for the 2014/2015 IRB Sevens World Series that kicks off on the Gold Coast a week later.
For the first time in its history New Zealand will participate in the 12-team men’s tournament, joining other Sevens World Series core teams Fiji, Australia and Samoa. The reigning Oceania Sevens champion is Samoa which beat Fiji 31-17 in Suva in 2013.
Seven teams will compete in the women’s tournament including Women’s Sevens World Series Core Teams Australia and New Zealand. Fiji, who caused the upset of the tournament last year by beating World Champions New Zealand in the Semi Finals, will be looking to go one better in 2014 after losing to Australia 22-5 in the final.
The Oceania Sevens tournament format and the strength of this year’s tournament reflect the growing rise of Sevens rugby across the world as the 2016 Brazil Olympic Games tournament edges closer.
The 2014 Oceania Sevens is a qualifying tournament for the HSBC Sevens World Series with the top performed non-core men’s team qualifying for Hong Kong and Wellington in 2015. It will be joined in Hong Kong by the second best team.
IRB General Manager, Oceania Will Glenwright stated, “FORU would very much like to thank hosts, the Noosa International Sevens. FORU is delighted to be a part of this wonderful Sevens carnival and this year we are delivering the strongest ever Oceania Sevens. Oceania is home to some of the world’s best Seven’s teams including New Zealand, Fiji, Australia and Samoa.”
“The Oceania Sevens is therefore a very important event for the region. It will also act as an Olympic qualifying event in its own right next year and is part of FORU’s Pacific Podium initiative. A collaborative high performance strategy for maximising medals for Member Unions at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games.”
“The Pacific Islands have only ever won one medal in the history of Olympic Competition. However, FORU in conjunction with Oceania National Olympic Committees (ONOC) recognises the potential of the Oceania teams to win Rugby Sevens medals in 2016 and the Program seeks to harness this competitive advantage and counter act the far greater financial resources that are being committed by other regions to prepare for Rio 2016,” added Glenwright.
The Noosa International 7’s Festival was established in 2010 and has since grown to become one of Australia’s premier rugby Sevens events outside of the IRB International World Series. The 2013 Festival generated unprecedented interest and saw the introduction of the inaugural Open School Boy's & School Girl's tournament, a very exciting development for the growth of the annual festival. The Noosa International Sevens tournament will be played on 4-5 October.
"We’re delighted to incorporate the FORU Oceania Sevens into this year’s Noosa International Sevens,” said Event Director Dene Brooks.
“I can guarantee a warm welcome and a great weekend of action for all the teams and fans that join us on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. With our excellent facilities, experienced organisers and an army of volunteers, Noosa will show why it has become the sevens festival that every team wants to be part of,” he added.
FORU Oceania Sevens 2014
American Samoa, Australia, Cook Islands, Fiji, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tahiti, Tonga,
Australia, Cook Islands, Fiji, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tonga