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7s trials set to start

Wednesday 22 September 2010 | Published in Regional

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The Cook Islands Rugby Union has taken the completion of the recent CITC club competition as a signal to dovetail straight into the upcoming sevens season.

CIRU is this season competing on the international scene in the men’s sevens Oceania Championships on October 1 and 2 in an effort to regain their foothold in the IRB sevens circuit series for Wellington, Adelaide and Hong Kong and the women in the IRB sevens for the first time in Borneo on October 29 and 30.

A 12-man Australian and Kiwi rugby sevens contingent selected after trials and testing over the past two months by head sevens coach Ramsey Tomokino, will arrive today for the final trials.

The trial will include three of the recent Under 19 team to Samoa.

They will attend an elite level camp consisting of trials, fitness and skills testing with their local brothers in preparation for the Oceania sevens tournament to be held in Darwin early next month.

The Darwin tournament will include Australia, Samoa and PNG who will be using this tournament as their pre-Commonwealth Games “warm up”.

The local contingent of players have been undergoing testing and training since August under the guidance of Vaivase Samania at the same time the visiting group has been in preparation in NZ.

The trials and fitness testing will take place over two days with the final 12-man squad to be confirmed by the weekend and carrying on preparations before travelling on Tuesday 27 for the Darwin tournament.

The team will go into camp at the Aotearoa Society Hostel.

The women’s team will also be introduced to their first elite level programme with a dedicated mixed session of both squads on Monday 27.

Part of the earlier programme will include a meet and greet evening and meal for the trialists and the women’s team.

The women’s team coached by Nooroa Maui will compete with Tonga, Samoa and Australia against India, Kazakhstan, Malaysia and Singapore.

The NZ and Australian contingent includes Richard Connal, Ashley Drake, Ben Enoka, Dexter Moroney, Josh Randell, Justin Marsters, Beau Mokotupu, Jerome Vogel, Francis Takiari, Jamal Brogan, Adam Vardey and Cheoneth Henry.

The local sevens trialists are Duane Gukisuva, Tepou Taana, Kairan Mahia, Caleb Tatuava, Lua Tua, Selafi Tovio, Teina Savage, Taime Tuakeu, Conrad Piri, Mano Tekopua and they will be joined by Aitutaki players Teu Paerau, Nga Simiona, Messine Manapori and Peter Natua.

The local team is coached by former national sevens player Vaivase Samania and the selection panel will be made up by Ramsey Tomokino, Vaivase Samania and George George.

The trials and fitness testing will be open for all stakeholders to attend.

For any enquires contact Ben Koteka on 54469 or email: cirugby@rugby.co.ck