Friday 9 December 2011 | Published in Regional
Preparations for the Cook Islands rugby sevens squad to attend the annual Wellington Sevens tournament in February will begin this weekend.
Locally-based rugby sevens players Turori Matutu and Eddie Nicholas have already departed Rarotonga for Auckland where there will be two Cook Islands rugby sevens teams in the Black Sevens tournament.
Matutu and Nicholas aim to impress national sevens coach Ramsey Tomokino and hopefully be selected into the national squad to play the Wellington Sevens leg of the world sevens circuit.
Cook Islands players from Australia and across New Zealand have also been invited to be part of the two Cooks teams taking part in the tournament.
Due to financial constraints, this is the first time the Cook Islands Rugby Union (CIRU) has sent local players to the tournament.
Players from Australia and across New Zealand taking part have paid their own way.
CIRU chief executive officer Ben Koteka is excited that the union has been able to send the two locally-based players to the Auckland tournament where they will get the quality competition they need and this in turn will enhance the preparation plans for the Cooks.
Provincial teams also taking part in the Blacks Sevens tournament, which will be played in New Lynn, includes Auckland, North Harbour, Bay of Plenty, Counties Manukau and Waikato.
For the provincial team the Black Sevens tournament is an opportunity for them to prepare for the New Zealand Provincials Sevens tournament scheduled for January in Queenstown.