There’s a lot on the line in 2017 as they will be vying for qualification to the World Rugby 7’s circuit tournaments in the Waikato, Sydney and Hong Kong, which will require intense training and hard work with high levels of sacrifice and commitment from the team.
Making things more interesting is that it will also act as a qualifier for the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast, Australia and the Rugby 7’s World Cup in San Francisco, USA.
To qualify for these tournaments, the Cook Islands must finish in first place ahead of PNG, Tonga, American Samoa and the other second tier nations.
Manager Simon Iopu Johnston acknowledges the difficult task ahead, but looks forward to taking the program to the next level as a team and being more competitive against the best teams at this tournament.
Johnston would also like to remind all Cook Islands and internationally based players to attend all trainings and testing times as required or to communicate to the coach.
Failing to do so will lead to automatic removal from the selection race.
National 7’s coach Vaivase Samania will begin the 2017 7’s program with a training session at 5pm this afternoon at the BCI National Stadium.
Training will be every Mondays and Wednesdays at 5pm, also at the BCI Stadium.
- Release/Conor Leathley
The following players are called to attend the training session:
Sailosi Nagi, Mata Matapakia, Tokerau Raru, Andre Iro, Patella Tou, James Kora, Stephen Willis, Francis Smith, Teina Savage, Rangi Piri, James Tofilau, Robert Heather, Longo Leuta and Sirla Pera.
The Outer Islands, NZ and Australia training squad is as follows and your training programs will be sent out to you shortly:
Daniel Tutai – Aitutaki, Junior Napara – Auckland, Junior Kiria - Auckland, James Iopu Johnston – Auckland, William Raea – Auckland, Reece Joyce – Waikato, Justin Marsters – Sydney.