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The Qantas Australian Men’s and Women’s Sevens sides have been named for the 2013 Oceania Sevens Championship this weekend in the teams’ first tournament of the 2013-14 season.
QANTAS AUSTRALIAN MEN'S SEVENS
The Federation of Oceania Rugby Unions (FORU) tournament later this week in Suva, Fiji on Friday 4 and Saturday 5 October, as part of the Fiji Water Centennial International Sevens festival.
With key players being rested ahead of the HSBC Sevens World Series opener at the Gold Coast next week, the tournament offers players the opportunity to secure one of three remaining spots in the squad.
Qantas Men’s Sevens coach Michael O’Connor, who was recently selected to attend the AIS 2013 International Coach Study Tour to Duke University, USA later this month, said his side is ready to defend its title which saw them beat Samoa in last year’s Oceania Sevens final.
“It’s a good opportunity to play an international match and get some more game time before we kick off the World Series next week on the Gold Coast.
“We’ve had a strong pre-season with players refocussing after the World Cup, and keen to get started with the new season.”
2013 Oceania Sevens Championship Tournament Director, Michael Groom said the Tournament is going to excite the spiritual home of Sevens.
“The people of Fiji are in for some exciting Sevens Rugby across the tournament, with regional teams being joined by international newcomers to celebrate Fiji Rugby Union centenary, giving the tournament a truly festival feel.”
+ Samuel Caslick – brother of Australian Women’s Sevens player and gold-medal winning Youth Olympian
+ Jack Cornelsen – son of Greg Cornelsen, the only Wallabies forward to score four tries in a Test
+ Tom Lucas – younger brother of former Sevens player and current NSW Waratah Matt Lucas
QANTAS AUSTRALIAN WOMEN'S SEVENS
The Federation of Oceania Rugby Unions (FORU) tournament is hosted in Noosa as part of the Noosa International Sevens Festival, and sees the power house women’s Sevens teams of the Oceania region compete for the title.
Australia is looking to go one better than its second-placed finish last year when New Zealand took the title in the tournament’s inaugural year.
This is Australia’s first outing under the leadership of new coach Tim Walsh, and sees the team face Fiji to open its campaign.
“After a year of building depth in the sport, and the continued development of experienced players, we are looking strong ahead of the new season,” said Walsh.
“We have had a solid pre-season preparation and this tournament will offer a high standard of play allowing us to gauge we were at going into the IRB World Series.
“New Zealand is coming off a double win, with both World Series and World Cup under its belt, so we will need to play clinical Rugby in order to secure the title.”
Teams will play in a round-robin format on Saturday before progressing to Sunday’s semi-finals and final to determine the winner.
2013 Oceania Women’s Sevens Tournament Director, Andrea Healy said, “The 2013 Oceania Women’s Sevens Championship is a significant tournament for exposing FORU teams to international competition, particularly in the build-up to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.”
TEAMS PLAYING IN ORDER OF RANKING
(Based on the results of the Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013 and 2012 Oceania Women’s Sevens Championship)
1. New Zealand
4. Papua New Guinea
Australian team selection for 2013 Oceania Sevens Championships
Qantas Men’s Sevens
Qantas Women’s Sevens
Alex Gibbon ©
Laloifi Junior Laloifi
Sharni Williams ©
Qantas Australian Rugby Sevens stars Emilee Cherry and Cameron Clark have been rewarded for their stellar performances throughout their respective 2013/14 seasons after picking up three awards between them at the 2014 John Eales Medal in Sydney.