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Overseas teams for Raro 7s

Thursday 28 September 2023 | Written by Rashneel Kumar | Published in Rugby Union, Sports


Overseas  teams for Raro 7s
Cook Islands Rugby Union's Ben Koteka.

The Cook Islands Rugby Union (CIRU) is all set to host the 2023 Raro 7s tournament, featuring two overseas clubs and national teams preparing for the Oceania 7s and Pacific Games.

The two-day tournament, to be held on Friday and Saturday next week at the National Stadium in Nikao, will feature two overseas teams in the senior women’s competition and one in the Under-16 boy’s grade.

The annual tournament will also feature the Cook Islands team of locally based players in the men’s competition. The Rarotonga-based national players to the upcoming Oceania 7s and the Pacific Games are expected to team up with the rugby league 9s players to the Solomon Islands Games in the women’s competition.

Ben Koteka, CIRU development manager, said they were excited to host overseas teams after a lapse of three years.

“This year we have two overseas teams visiting: a team from New Zealand - Te Tai Tokerau Natives U18 Women’s and U16 Men’s teams - who will also play a rugby 15s match,” Koteka said.

“The other visiting team from Sydney, Australia is the Burraneer ‘Burra Ray’ RFC women’s 7s team.”

Northland’s Te Tai Tokerau Natives teams will arrive in Rarotonga this weekend. Their U16 side is expected to play a 15s match on Tuesday.

“They are bringing a team of about 50 people, including players and supporters.”

The Burraneer “Burra Ray” RFC women’s 7s team will arrive early next week. They will take on the Cook Islands 7s/9s team, Te Tai Tokerau Natives and Arorangi Bears in the women’s competition.

“In the men’s competition we will probably have six teams but we are pushing for eight teams,” Koteka said.

Tupapa Panthers, Avatiu Nikao Eels, Arorangi Cowboys, Titikaveka Bulls, a Fijian community team and the Cook Islands team are all but confirmed for the Raro 7s.

Koteka said CIRU will be using the tournament as a build up for the Oceania 7s, which also serves as Olympic Games Qualifiers, and the Pacific Games in November.