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Fiji sevens gearing up

Wednesday 20 January 2010 | Published in Regional

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Fiji is gearing up for the biggest sevens tournament the rugby-mad country has seen in over 10 years.

Starting today (Fiji time), 16 teams will battle it out in the Digicel Suva International Sevens tournament with teams from Fiji, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Canada, Samoa and even a team from Malaysia.

While there’s no sign of a Cook Islands team in the tournament, the country’s most well-known sevens player, Koiatu Koiatu, will be at the tournament at part of the Western Force squad from Australia.

Koiatu is by far the most experienced player in the Aussie side who are tipped to be one of the movers and shakers of the competition.

Kiwi team Manawatu are lucky to make the Fiji competition after New Zealand national sevens coach Gordon Tietjens passed up the opportunity to send his team to Fiji.

His New Zealand team was invited to the tournament but they did not accept as the team is preparing for the Wellington Sevens on February 5-7.

The Auckland team also declined the invitation to attend the Fiji sevens before Tietjens asked Manawatu to take part.

Fiji has been drawn in pool A along with Waimanu and the Northern Sharks.

In pool B, Western Force, led by Koiatu, will face a team from the USA, and Army and Police teams.

Pool C includes Manawatu, Papua New Guinea, Suva and the Wardens, while pool D consists of Samoa, Canada, Ratu Filise and the Veyasana Malaysian Baabaas.