Australia target RWC Sevens qualification(IRB.COM) Thursday 9 August 2012
The Australia Sevens team are aiming to secure a Rugby World Cup Sevens qualifying spot in front of a home crowd later this month, as North Sydney Oval plays host to the Oceania Sevens Championships.
The tournament is the next step in the qualification process for next year's RWC Sevens and although Fiji, New Zealand and Samoa have already qualified for the competition in Moscow, two more places are available to teams from the Oceania region.
The draw for the tournament, which takes place on 25-26 August, has been announced with Australia set to face Solomon Islands, American Samoa and Tonga in Pool B, whilst Samoa top Pool A, alongside Papua New Guinea, the Cook Islands and Tahiti.
“There’s some pretty handy sides in our pool but we’re focussed on getting our own house in order," said head coach Michael O'Connor.
“The guys know what’s at stake, we know the gravity of the occasion but the fact is we’re playing this tournament in Australia in front of a home crowd.
“We’re heading into the tournament with a fair amount of confidence because we have experienced players in this squad.
“A large chunk of our squad are from Sydney so they’ll be comfortable in their surroundings and North Sydney Oval is a great ground that will lend itself to Sevens."
Australia finished sixth overall on the 2011/12 HSBC Sevens World Series, including a Cup victory at the 2012 Tokyo Sevens, and the Gold Coast Sevens will commence the 2012/13 Series at the beginning of October.
Tournament Director, Michael Groom, said the Oceania Sevens however has developed a reputation for exciting and at times unpredictable Sevens between some of the best teams in the world.
“Sydney is in for a real Rugby Sevens treat with the calibre of teams participating in the Championships combined with the fact World Cup spots are up for grabs,” added Groom.
“Samoa and Australia in particular have developed an incredible rivalry in the Oceania Sevens in recent years and we are going to see the next chapter played out in Sydney.
“Tonga, Cook Islands and the rapidly improving PNG team have all claimed major scalps on the HSBC Sevens World Series circuit in recent years and with Rugby World Cup qualification places up for grabs, we are in for some high-adrenaline Rugby.”
Australia will enter a training camp at the Sydney Academy of Sport, Narrabeen in the week leading up to the tournament and tickets to the Oceania Sevens Championships are available at www.proticket.com.au.
Oceania Sevens day one fixtures
Papua New Guinea v Cook Islands
Samoa v Tahiti
Tonga v American Samoa
Australia v Solomon Islands
Papua New Guinea v Tahiti
Samoa v Cook Islands
Tonga v Solomon Islands
Australia v American Samoa
Cook Islands v Tahiti
Samoa v Papua New Guinea
American Samoa v Solomon Islands
Australia v Tonga