Oceania Sevens last chance saloon for World Series preparation

by RUGBY.com.au staff

The Oceania Rugby Sevens Championship is being used as the final opportunity for teams to finalise their preparation ahead of the Sevens World Series kicking-off in Dubai in December.

For Australia and Fiji’s Women’s side, Fijiana this tournament will be a real stepping stone to finish off what has been an intense period of preseason.

Australian co-captain, Shannon Parry said the Aussie Women’s Sevens team was looking forward to being the chased side heading into the series.

“We’re obviously world series champions and we came home with the gold medal in August. We were the ones hunting the Kiwis before that but now we are going to be the hunted," Parry said.

“For us it is about resetting our values and team philosophy about where we are at and what we want to achieve this season.

"We are on track with that and ready to hit the ground running in Dubai.” 

With the Women’s World Series heading to Aussie shores for the first time, the excitement of playing in Sydney is building.

“We are looking forward to it. Great weekend here in Fiji for the Oceania Championships. The Sydney7s is a big step for us, it’s out first time on home soil,” Parry told rugby.com.au.

“We’re really looking forward to that and hopefully the Australian crowd on the Friday and the Saturday to watch the girls and then Saturday and Sunday for the guys.”

The Australian and Fiji Women's Sevens will both play in the Oceania Rugby Sevens Championships in Suva. Photo: ARU Media For one of the next generation of Aussie Sevens talent, Tiana Penitani, thinks that the atmosphere in Sydney will be one to behold, particularly after having a taste of Rugby mad Fiji.  

“It’ll be awesome to see the Fijian crowd get behind the Women’s Team for Friday and Saturday comp just like they do all over the world for their Men’s teams team," Penitani said.

“Really looking forward to seeing them there.”

With a passionate supporter base both in Fiji and at Rugby tournaments all over the world, Parry is looking forward to what the atmosphere at the Oceania Rugby Sevens Tournament could bring.

“They are passionate supporters and I think you can see that around the world," Parry said. 

"They first through the gate and they are the last to leave. They are always passionate supporters wherever we go around the world.

“Going to the coaching clinic yesterday you can just see how much they live and breathe Rugby here. It was great to see so many kids running around.”   

For Fijiana captain Ana Maria Roqica, she has one eye on the Sydney7s next February. 

“We are looking forward to Sydney. I know the boys are there and they’ll support us, encourage us and motivate us in Sydney," Roqica said. 

“We are looking forward to seeing a lot of Fijians come and support us. Sydney7s is now supporting the women’s series.

“We are excited to go and participate. We know they (Fijian community in Sydney) will get behind us and support us.”

The Oceania Rugby Sevens Tournament kicks off on Friday 11 November at ANZ Stadium in Suva, Fiji.