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7s in training

Thursday 18 November 2010 | Published in Regional


Under the guidance of internationally renowned trainer Keith Roberts, the Rarotonga based sevens rugby players are improving their fitness and all round game performance ahead of the IRB Sevens Circuit early next year.

A squad of 14 players are being put through their paces by Roberts who is pleased with their progress.

The players have committed themselves to training from an initial training squad of 22.

The local players are now in week six of their training programme which includes twice daily fitness training and a mini educational tournament on Saturdays.

Roberts says that the fitness training programme, which sees the players slog it out at nine workout sessions a week, is to bring the players to the fitness level and standard demanded by national coach Ramsey Tomokino.

“The mini educational tournament on Saturday’s is to improve their overall understanding and vision of sevens rugby,” says Roberts.

“This includes the structure and strategies and just playing smart sevens.”

A squad of around six will be selected to take part in the Red Bull sevens tournament in Auckland for clubs teams there.

The Rarotonga boys will combine with New Zealand based players and with the progress they are making here at home with their fitness and all round game – they are sure to put the pressure on Kiwi players vying for a spot in the international squad.

“The players have made remarkable improvements,” says Roberts.

“They improved their fitness, speed and made significant gains in their stamina.”

After the Red Bull tournament in New Zealand on December 11 the Cook Islands sevens squad will then play in a second tournament against North Harbour, Northland and Auckland teams.

In January, the Cook Islands training squad will play a final tournament where the national squad will be named to play in the Wellington Sevens in early February and the Adelaide Sevens tournament later in 2011.

Roberts says he is pleased that the local players are responding so positively to the programmes set for them and adds that he is excited about the future potential of the players and the national sevens team.

The 14 local training squad members are Turori Matutu, Conrad Piri, Francis Smith, Teina Savage, Kairan Marsh, Spoon Marsters, Sema Robati, Tepou Taana, Sailosi Niagi, Duane Gukisuva, Tai Joseph Jnr, Teariki Tou, Tave Tereapii and Clive Nicholas.