WRAPS COME OFF THE FULL LINE-UP
Noosa, Queensland, September 9, 2014… The wraps have finally come off the full line-up for this year’s Noosa International Sevens and it’s going to be massive!
Organisers revealed today that another 36 teams have confirmed they’re bound for Noosa, following on the coat-tails of 19 full international teams including Pacific powerhouses New Zealand, Australia, Fiji and Samoa.
And with 55 teams competing, that means fans and fun-lovers will have an amazing 137 games of quickfire seven-a-side rugby to take in.
There’s going to be so much action that the festival will run to a third day for the first time – and even then, it will be tight with around nine hours of competition each day.
The first game between Fiji and Papua New Guinea will kick off at 8am on Friday October 3 and it will be near dawn-to-dusk competition from that moment until the referee calls time on the grand final late in the afternoon on Sunday October 5.
This year’s festival will incorporate the Oceania Sevens tournaments with 12 men’s and 7 women’s national teams competing not just for honour but for places in the International Rugby Board’s World Series.
And with Rugby Sevens making its debut as an Olympic sport at Rio in less than two years, many of the players at Noosa will be out to impress.
Event Director Dene Brooks guaranteed the long weekend would offer something for everyone with off-field entertainment and catering adding to the sevens carnival atmosphere.
“The first day will be devoted to the men’s and women’s Oceania Sevens with the teams playing in seeded pool groups. The results of those games will determine the finals programme for the Oceania Sevens throughout Saturday.
“We’ll also start the pool rounds for our own Noosa International Sevens tournaments on the Saturday with the finals and the presentation of the Stan Bisset Cup to the winners of the grand final on Sunday.”
While attention will focus inevitably on the international giants preparing for the IRB World Sevens Series and their debut at the 2016 Olympic games in Rio, Brooks believes the 16 men’s and eight women’s teams in Noosa’s own tournaments will put on an exciting show.
“With the national coaches and selectors from so many countries on site, there’ll certainly be a few players hoping to stand out and maybe get into contention for a call-up,” he added.
Men’s teams for this year’s Noosa International Sevens include last year’s winners Iconz and runners-up King’s College along with regular heavyweights Sunnybank and Fiji-based Sid Vaka. The Southern Lions are coming from West Australia, joining other interstate teams including the Country King Browns from Darwin and the Sydney-based indigenous squad assembled as Lloyd McDermott Rugby.
Brisbane teams also include Easts Tigers, UQ Red Heavies and Tribe 7s while the Gold Coast will be represented by The Rugby Academy.
Host club Noosa and the Sunshine Coast Stingrays will fly the local flag, and there will be considerable interest in the specialist squad assembled under the Matai Newstar banner.
Eight teams have been accepted for the women’s tournament including last year’s winners Sunnybank and runners-up Tribe 7s. The Australian Rugby Union has entered its development team, the Aussie Pearls, while the St George Stingrays and Stingrays Development will bring local support.
Brooks said another 12 teams had been accepted for the Under 18s male and female tournaments. “Anyone following the game at that level in recent years knows much it has developed with the lure of World Series, World Cup, Commonwealth and Olympic caps for the bright, young stars of the future,” he added.
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