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By ARU Media Unit
The Federation of Oceania Rugby Unions (FORU) today announced that ten (10) Member Unions have confirmed their participation in the 2011 Oceania Sevens Championship to be held in Apia, on the 28th and 29th of October.
Regional Sevens power houses Samoa, Australia and Fiji will head the line-up of participating teams, however, Tonga, Papua New Guinea and Cook Islands, regular competitors on the HSBC Sevens World Series, will provide plenty of tough competition. They will be joined by Niue, Tahiti, American Samoa and Solomon Islands, providing the Island of Upolu, Samoa with a festival of high powered rugby Sevens.
Tournament hosts, the Samoa Rugby Union (SRU), is delighted with the response shown by FORU Unions in their support of the 2011 Oceania Sevens Championship.
“The 2011 Oceania Sevens Championship will be a great festival of sizzling Sevens in the best traditions of Pacific Rugby” says Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, Chairman of the SRU and Prime Minister of Samoa. “The opportunity to see some of the World’s best Sevens teams at Apia Park over two days of intense competition will surely be an exciting spectacle for the people of Samoa”.
Oceania Sevens Championship Tournament Director, Michael Groom, says that the Oceania Sevens Championship has established itself as a prestigious regional sevens event, and one that has increasing strategic importance to FORU Member Unions.
“In 2010 the Oceania Sevens Championship was a highly competitive tournament, and proved to be a crucial preparation event for the Oceania teams who went onto to successfully compete at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India. This year’s Championship again provides the perfect lead in Tournament to the first round of the HSBC Sevens World Series leg on the Gold Coast, Australia in late November, and with qualifying spots up for grabs amongst the Member Unions of FORU to join the Region’s core teams, the Championship will be fiercely contested.”
Australia are the defending Champions after defeating Samoa 34-12 in the final of the 2010 Oceania Sevens Championship.
Tom Kingston was nearly a Sevens player five years ago, just as he entered the professional rugby ranks.