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Wednesday 3 November 2010 | Published in Regional


The Avatiu Eels sevens squads boasts some of the island’s top rugby sevens players and up and coming stars.

And like any of the top contenders in the three-day Sevens in Heaven tournament – the aim is to win.

While the squad is easily one of the island’s best sevens sides after taking out the recent local sevens ‘circuit’ – it’s been a long time since they’ve tasted victory at the international tournament.

In fact, it’s been that long no one really remembers exactly when they did win the tournament and they reckon they have.

So 2010 could be the year the Eels make a more memorable stamp on the Sevens in Heaven scene.

Coach Walter Tangata, a former national rep and formidable player in his day, says that he is grateful to have the island’s most experienced sevens players – namely Teokotai ‘Billy Bush’ Tuaivi, Bruce Goldsworthy and brothers Clive and Lui Nicholas.

Tangata is also expecting great things from his younger members.

“We can’t always rely on the old guys so it’s good that they are here to help with the development of the sport within the club,” says Tangata.

While they can’t remember when they won the tournament – the Eels have always been semi finals contenders.

A trend they hope to continue and better this year.

The recent local club circuit win has certainly been a great confidence boost for the team who’ve continued to training night and day for the Sevens in Heaven.

Tangata is reluctant to single out just one player to watch for and says that the Eels’ success will be because of a team effort.

He says he can only prepare his team as best as he can and the rest will be up to them on the field.

The aim is to top their pool and make it through to the play offs.

“But we are going to just take it one game at a time,” says Walter.

He adds that the Eels are not underestimating any team as he believes there are no ‘easy beats’ in the tournament.

“So may the best team win!”