WORLD-CLASS TEAMS HEADING TO NOOSA
Noosa, Queensland, August 21, 2014…The International Rugby Board announced today that Noosa has been chosen to host this year’s prestigious Oceania Sevens tournament.
Teams from 12 nations, including Pacific powerhouses New Zealand, Australia, Fiji and Samoa, will be spending up to a week on the Sunshine Coast in October for the event which will form the centrepiece of this year’s Noosa International Sevens festival.
The Federation of Oceania Rugby Unions (FORU), the regional arm of the IRB, is especially happy that New Zealand’s world champions will travel to Noosa to take part in the men’s tournament for the very first time.
“FORU is delighted to be a part of this wonderful sevens carnival and this year we are delivering the strongest ever Oceania Sevens,” said Will Glenwright, IRB General Manager, Oceania.
“Oceania is home to some of the world’s best sevens teams including New Zealand, Fiji, Australia and Samoa.”
Those four teams, which are ranked as core members of the IRB Sevens World Series, will be joined in Noosa by teams from American Samoa, Cook Islands, New Caledonia, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tahiti and Tonga.
FORU will also be running a seven-team women’s tournament alongside the men’s event in Noosa, with the national squads from Australia, Cook Islands, Fiji, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Samoa and Tonga all confirmed.
The strength of this year’s tournament reflects the growing rise of sevens rugby across the world as the 2016 Brazil Olympic Games edge closer. Rugby Sevens will become an official Olympic sport at the Rio games and the short but fast and furious form of the traditional 15-a-side game is winning legions of followers worldwide.
And there is an extra incentive for the “non-core” men’s teams taking part at Noosa as the event has become a qualifying tournament for the HSBC Sevens World Series.
The top performing non-core men’s team in Noosa will win a place at next year’s IRB World Series events in Hong Kong and Wellington. The second best team will secure a place in Hong Kong alone.
Being selected to host the FORU tournament is another remarkable achievement for the Noosa Dolphins Rugby Club, which last year demonstrated its capabilities when it brought the British and Irish Lions to the Sunshine Coast in the final week of their Australian tour.
“The club, its members and the people of Noosa proved they can meet the needs and expectations of world-class sporting organisations and we’ll do it again in 2014,” said Event Director Dene Brooks.
“I can guarantee a warm welcome and a great weekend of action for all the teams and their fans coming to the tournament.
“With our excellent facilities, experienced organisers and an army of volunteers, Noosa will show why it has become the sevens festival that every team wants to be part of.
“We’ve received a lot of help from Tourism and Events Queensland, Noosa Council and Tourism Noosa and in the coming weeks we’ll be working flat out to make this the best tournament yet.”
Organisers have already booked hundreds of rooms at resorts and hotels throughout Noosa for the teams, support crews and rugby officials who will descend on the Sunshine Coast for the week leading up to the festival which runs from October 3 to 5.
The Noosa International Sevens Festival was established in 2010 and has since grown to become Australia’s premier rugby sevens event outside the IRB World Series.
FORU awarded the 2013 Women’s Oceania Sevens to the Sunshine Coast club and the success of that event undoubtedly played a part in the decision to use the Noosa festival as a venue for both men’s and women’s tournaments in 2014.
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