Helping hands for rugby Sevens

Thursday August 02, 2018 Written by Published in Rugby Union
Some of the players from last year’s Cook Islands Sevens Oceania side have been named in the national training squad for the upcoming 2018 tournament in November. 18080117 Some of the players from last year’s Cook Islands Sevens Oceania side have been named in the national training squad for the upcoming 2018 tournament in November. 18080117

Cook Islands Sevens head coach Vase Samania has secured two assistants to help him prepare the national side for the upcoming Oceania Sevens Championship in Fiji.

Tupapa coach Andrew Iroa will be assisting Samania with the training, while Teariki Sword will look after the strength and conditioning of the players.

The two attended the opening training session on Monday at the BCI Stadium in Nikao.

“I put in a proposal for extra management in the team because there is a lot of work that needs to be done to prepare the team,” said Samania.

“Before, I did everything from gym to setting out the game plan, so I requested the rugby union for two extra members to be part of the management team here.

“Andrew Iroa from Tupapa is an upcoming coach who is doing well in the local scene and he has come onboard to assist me with the preparations. We also secured Teariki, who will look after the strength and conditioning of the players.”

Samania is eyeing a solid three months of preparation for the championship, which will be held on November 9 and 10 in Suva, Fiji.

The championship will serve as the qualification tournament for the 2019 World Sevens Series tournaments in Hamilton (New Zealand), Sydney (Australia) and Hong Kong 2019.

“The aim is to have at least three months of preparation. We are looking at 80 to 85 training sessions which will include gym work, ball skills and some game time because the players need the match fitness.”

Samania said the turnout at the first training session on Monday was not great, but he was not too disappointed about it.

He said that, given the busy period with Te Maeva Nui celebrations on the island, he anticipated some players would not turn up for training.

“The aim of the session was to see whether the players who are named in the training squad are committed to represent the country. There were some players who excused themselves and I understand their commitment with Te Maeva Nui and other events,” the former national skipper said.

Samania also said he was awaiting word from the Cook Islands Rugby Union on the gym they could use for training.

“We are also working with CIIC (Cook Islands Investment Corporation) to see which days we can use the stadium, as there are other sporting codes who are using the stadium for training.”

Meanwhile, the second training session will be held tomorrow at the stadium, starting at 5pm.

“Any player interested in representing the country, including Samoans and Fijians who have lived in the Cook Islands for more than three years, are welcome to join the training,” said Samania.

Interested players should bring their running shoes and a bottle of water. Any queries, please contact head coach Vase Samania on 78331.

 

Cook Islands Sevens training squad: Stephen Willis, Patella Tou, Robert Heather Jr, Taua Heather, Andre Iro, James Strickland, Anthony Turaki, Tanire Mokoroa, Leo Roa, Sam Taoro, Logo Leuta, James Tofilau, Sailosi Nagi, Teariki Matenga Jr, David Napa, Tomasi Bikaka, Brian Akava, Tangi Akava, Mata Andrew, James Kora, Othneil Joseph, Rangi Piri, Jamian Iroa, Faatau Pepe, Eddie Marama, Maine Rongo, John Penu, Jeff Mangele, Tokerau Raru, Tamarua Nicholas, Josh Motu, Teu Paerau, Teremoana Paerau.

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