The Hon. Laisenia Tuitubou, Minister for Youth and Sports, Fiji Government together with Oceania Rugby Women’s Director, Ms. Cathy Wong and Mr. John O’Connor, Chief Executive Officer, Fiji Rugby Union confirmed the event’s return and the Fijian Government’s support at the Grand Pacific Hotel, Suva today in launching the 2018 event.
In a continuing commitment to ensuring fans have access to experiencing the best of the best in the world of Sevens Rugby the Men’s and Women’s events will staged together in Suva at ANZ Stadium over two days Friday 9th and Saturday 10th November 2018.
“The Oceania Rugby Sevens Championship is an impressive competition of national women’s and men’s teams competing to be the best in the Pacific – and that means the best on a global stage based on the international performances of our regions women’s and men’s teams in recent years,” said Ms Cathy Wong, Oceania Rugby Women’s Director.
“The Government of Fiji is delighted to yet again host another premier international sporting event; the Oceania Sevens Championships – after successfully hosting other international events such as the Super Rugby, the recently concluded Pan Pacific Championship, the ITTF Table Tennis Championship, the recently concluded ICC East Asia Pacific Cricket qualifiers and many more,” said Hon. Laisenia Tuitubou, Fiji’s Minister for Youth and Sports.
Minister Tuitubou said the intentions of the Fijian Government have been very clear. “We have a vision of making Fiji a sort after destination in the Asia Pacific Region when it comes to hosting International Sporting events and we have continued to support the respective National Sporting Organisations and have continued to provide assistance in the areas of sports development and training,” he added.
2017 Oceania Rugby Sevens Champions New Zealand and Fiji
“Fans can see the best of sevens rugby skills – that will be displayed “live”. The big names of Rugby 7s will be on ground. Our very own Fiji Airways Men’s 7s and Fiji Airways Fijiana 7s will showcase their magic ahead of the 2018-19 HSBC Sevens Series,” Mr O’Connor added.
He said competition wise – having national teams on the ground - promotes the sevens code even further - which equally strengthens Fiji Rugby’s growth strategy.
“It (the championship) also facilitates “game-time” for our island neighbours – for countries like Tuvalu, Nauru, Cook Islands, Niue and the Solomon Islands to name a few,” Mr O’Connor said.
Tuvalu v Vanuatu at the 2017 Oceania Rugby Sevens Championships (Photo: Zoom Fiji)
The Men’s event will see 13 teams from around the region participate including World Rugby Sevens Series core teams Australia, Fiji, Samoa and New Zealand. Hosts Fiji will be keen to keep the regional crown whilst current Commonwealth and RWC Sevens Champions New Zealand All Black 7s will be vying to complete the trophy collect in 2018. Tonga and Papua New Guinea will be sure to draw on their experience at the RWC Seven 2018 in trying to create some upsets during the weekend.
Men’s teams (in alphabetical order) contesting the 2018 Oceania Rugby Men’s Sevens Championship: Australia, Cook Islands, Fiji, Nauru, New Caledonia, Niue, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu
There are 8 women’s teams in 2018 with Australia and New Zealand considered front runners for the title. Fiji and Papua New Guinea will be keen to close the gap between themselves and the previous title holders. Debutantes Nauru will be out to prove themselves at the regional event.
Women’s teams (in alphabetical order) contesting the 2018 Oceania Rugby Women’s Sevens Championship: Australia, Cook Islands, Fiji, Nauru, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, New Zealand, and Samoa