With the World Series about to kick back off and 2011 in full flow, the 7s game is once again pick up speed with new iniaitives and growing tournaments taking place all over the world. UR7s looks at some of the stories in the news this week
The Japan Rugby Football Union said Monday a seven-man rugby tournament will be held in Tokyo on April 16-17 with the aim of promoting the sport for its Olympic debut in 2016 in Rio de Janeiro. A total of 12 teams, including Japan, New Zealand, Australia and Fiji, will participate in the new event called the Tokyo Sevens at Prince Chichibu Memorial Ground. The first round is scheduled for April 16 and the finals the following day.
A record number of teams will compete in next week's Rugby Sevens tournament in Darwin. Forty teams from around Australia and south-east Asia will be competing for $70,000 worth of prizemoney. Tim Heath, from Northern Territory Rugby, says the event is getting bigger each year ... and becoming more prestigious. "We have a stage where we'd like to get too, but we've got to continue to build the event and one day we believe we will probably be the richest rugby sevens event in the world," Heath said. He said the tournament is also encouraging more young Territorians to take up the sport and he thinks rugby could become just as popular as AFL over the next decade. "I think the proof's in the pudding, our juniors have been growing consistently since 2005. "These events actually provide the opportunity for children to come and see what rugby's all about."
Waisale Serevi, widely recognized as the greatest rugby sevens player, has chosen Seattle to launch the next phase of his storied career. He has been appointed Director of Rugby and Head Coach of the Sevens program for Old Puget Sound Beach (OPSB) Rugby Football Club in Seattle, the reigning US Sevens national champion. In addition, Serevi will be launching a new global business venture which aims to increase awareness of and participation in rugby in the US and abroad. "This is the right time and place for me to take the next step in my career," said Serevi. "Seattle is a gateway to the broader US Rugby community, and coaching here will enable me to have a direct impact on the development of players who will help the US compete for the gold medal in the 2016 Olympics."
Two sides representing Fiji in acion this weekend; The Fiji Rugby Union has named two teams to compete in 7s tournaments in Fiji and Australia this weekend. The Digicel Fiji Barbarians will be in action this Friday and Saturday in the inaugural Uprising Fiji International 7s. The shadow national team has been drawn in a pool which includes Wardens and Police who, playing as Namosi One and Namosi Two respectively, have won both legs of the Fiji TV Provincial 7s Series Namosi Two winning last November's Lautoka 7s and Namosi One winning the second leg in Sigatoka last Saturday. The Barbarians team will have players like Timoci Vakadranu, Rusiate Tadulala, Pio Tuwai, Nikola Matawalu, Orisi Sareki, Josefa Bole and Joeli Lutumailagi in their line-up. For the Drifters team to Darwin the side will be boosted with the likes of Seremaia Burotu, Watisoni Votu, Mitieli Nacagilevu, Emosi Vucago, and William Ryder. Meanwhile organisers of the Uprising International 7's have now released their exclusive merchandise which is at Uprising Resort and will be available at the TFL stadium from Friday. The Uprising Fiji International 7's will kick off on Friday at the TFL Stadium at 9am with Samoa taking on Nadroga.