The annual Oceania Sevens kicks-off this Saturday in Auckland and has added excitement this year as the tournament doubles up as the World Rugby Olympic Qualifying event for Oceania. The winner of both the men’s and women’s tournaments will book places at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in August next year when sevens debuts on sport's greatest stage.
With Fiji and New Zealand men and Australia and New Zealand women already qualified for Rio 2016, there is huge interest building to see who will join them. The draw comprises eight men's teams and five women's teams.For Oceania Sevens match schedule click here
It is the first time New Zealand has staged the Oceania Sevens and the two-day event will take place this weekend, 14 & 15 November, at the Trusts Arena in Waitakere (Auckland).
The best New Zealand men’s sevens players will also be in action during the tournament. A New Zealand Development side comprising All Blacks Sevens and promising young players will take part in four training matches in the breaks during the Oceania Sevens ahead of the New Zealand squad being finalised for the 2015/16 HSBC Sevens World Series season.
Oceania Rugby General Manager, Will Glenwright, said, "We very much thank the New Zealand Rugby and Auckland Rugby Union for hosting this year’s all important Oceania Sevens Championship.”
“After such a successful World Cup in the UK the rugby world now switches its attention to the sevens rugby tournament at the Olympic Games in 2016. Oceania has a rich heritage in sevens and this exciting tournament will determine who goes forward to Rio and the final stages of qualifiying.”
The teams that finish second and third in both tournaments will have a second chance to qualify for Rio de Janeiro as they will qualify for the World Rugby final qualifying tournament that is expected to be played in June 2016. The 2015 Oceania Sevens schedule can be viewed at the end of this release.
Men: Australia, Samoa, Tonga, Papua New Guinea, Cook Islands, American Samoa, Nauru, Solomon Islands
Women: Fiji, Samoa, Papua New Guinea, Cook Islands, Tonga
Live TV coverage and streaming
Both Sky NZ and FoxSports in Australia will be televising both days of the tournament live.
Furthermore Pacific Cooperation Broadcasting Limited and Oceania Rugby are proud to announce that full coverage of the tournament will be available on "free-to-air" TV via partner broadcasters. Countries taking the tournament: American Samoa, Cook Islands, Fiji, Nauru, Niue, PNG, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu.
The tournament is also being streamed via http://www.oceaniarugby.com on both days.