Thursday 28 January 2010 | Published in Regional
Cook Islander Koiatu Koiatu will return to next year’s Suva International Sevens tournament if the Western Force gets another invite to take part in the rugby festival.
It was the first time for Koiatu to be in Fiji and it is an experience he will miss when he returns to Australia.
Speaking to SunSports, KK as he is affectionately known said the trip to Fiji was awesome.
“It is really awesome, the people are great, we had a great time and we would love to come back next year.”
Starting to play with the oval ball at the age of six, KK said hanging his boots would depend on when his body gives up on him.
“I’m 32 years old now but I feel that I still have a lot to give, so I’m not planning on when I will hang up my boots.”
Representing Western Force at the Suva tournament, KK said he would not represent the Cook Islands team this year.
“Unfortunately we didn’t qualify so we won’t play in the IRB Sevens this year.”
Canada coach Morgan Williams rated the Suva sevens as one of the best tournaments.
While there are some setbacks on the organisation of the tournament, he believes next year’s tournament will be a much better one since this is the first time for them to host such a tournament.
“Fiji time as they say exists a lot in this tournament but international teams should learn to go with the flow and try to understand the situation of hosting such a tournament in Fiji.
“Overall it has been a great one and everyone has something to learn from not only on the field of play but in all areas of the tournament. The people are just great; the local food, accommodation and the friendly smiling faces of the Fijians is what helped the boys enjoyed the great sunshine and summer here.”
Papua New Guinea assistant coach William Rikis applauded the organisation of the three-day tournament.
“It was a good tournament and PNG is lucky to be invited by Fiji to participate in the tournament.
“Sevens is a Pacific sport and this tournament has really helped us neighbouring Pacific islands in lifting the standard of our game.
“We are definitely going to be here again next year and we will continue to come over if there are other invitations because many of our players have really learnt a lot from the Fijian players,” he added.
The tournament was won by the Fiji Barbarians – basically the national side – which walloped local side Waimanu 45-0. In pool play Waimanu beat the Barbarians 12-0.