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Captain of the Qantas Women’s Sevens team and winner of the 2013 Australian Women’s Player of the Year, Sharni Williams, will headline a strong Aussie Pearls contingent at the Fiji Coral Coast Sevens this weekend.
The Pearls will jet off to defend their title of Coral Coast Champions against 11 other teams in the tournament that runs from Thursday 14 – Saturday 16 November. 24 men’s teams will compete in this year’s tournament.
As last year’s Coral Coast Champions, the Aussie Pearls are favourites to defend the Crest Na Iri Trophy.
With teams from Australia, Fiji, New Caledonia and the USA; the Coral Coast Sevens highlights the growth in Sevens Rugby internationally during the build-up to the 2014 Commonwealth Games for men, and the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro for women and men.
The tournament will provide an opportunity for the players to sharpen their skills in preparation for the opening round of the IRB Women’s Sevens World Series in Dubai later this month.
In the path to the finals the Pearls will face Tribe - a Brisbane-based invitational-side and recent Central Coast Sevens champions - with local club Striders and debutants New Caledonia in Pool G.
Pool H sees two Sydney based teams, the Pacific Two Blues and Fiji Ranadi, competing for a place in the final stages of the tournament.
Brisbane team, Sunnybank will take on Serevi Selects in Pool J, a side featuring USA women’s coach Ric Suggitt and members of the USA Rugby residency program.
A host of Sevens legends will be in attendance, including: two-time Fijian Sevens World Cup winner Waisale Serevi; All Blacks Sevens coach Sir Gordon Tietjens; Former All Black and international Rugby superstar Jonah Lomu; IRB Sevens World Series all-time record points-scorer, England’s Ben Gollings; and former New Zealand Black Ferns captain Melodie Robinson.
The Qantas Women’s Sevens team will compete in the first leg of the IRB Women’s Sevens World Series, which starts in Dubai on Thursday 28 November.
The following day will see the men’s team return to action following their second placing at the Gold Coast edition of the HSBC Sevens World Series.
Aussie Pearls for Coral Coast Sevens
Cobie - Jane
Tom Kingston was nearly a Sevens player five years ago, just as he entered the professional rugby ranks.