Eels compete in Papeete Sevens

Monday December 04, 2017 Written by Published in Rugby Union

Avatiu Eels are bracing for a tough tussle in the inaugural Papeete International Sevens which kicked off in Tahiti yesterday.

 

The local side left the country on Thursday to compete in the two-day tournament which also features clubs from host country Tahiti and France.

Eels are the top seed in Pool B, while Les Bleus from France head Pool A. The tournament is contested by 10 teams.

Eels coach Clive Nicholas said initially the trip to Tahiti was to be a development tour, but due to players’ personal commitments, the team had to abandon their earlier plans.

He said they considered most of their senior reps but would miss the services of Fijian duo Lai Rogorogoivalu and Tua Ravula who couldn’t travel due to visa issues.

“There were a lot of things that we planned for this trip. First it was supposed to be a development thing, which went down the drain. Then I was going to open it up to all clubs and invite players from each who have been part of the national squad,” Nicholas said.

“That didn’t work out either and I had to go back to my club and get the senior players together.

“On paper, we have a strong side and we can win this tournament, but there are some good teams coming over as well, so we expect a tough tussle.”

Former All Blacks Sevens skipper DJ Forbes is the “godfather” of the Papeete International Sevens.

The local side, accompanied by their fans, will stay in Tahiti for a week. After the tournament which ends today, the Eels players and supporters will enjoy sightseeing activities.

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