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Friday 28 October 2011 | Published in Regional


Reigning Oceania Sevens champions Australia begin their Rugby Sevens season proper in Apia today with a young squad of players including Cook Islander Jordan Tuapou.

Twenty-year-old Tuapou, the son of Queensland-based Cook Islands sports administrator Tiki Tuapou, has been tipped to rise up in Australian rugby ranks. The Brisbane-based Tuapou plays his rugby for the Eastern Suburbs in Queensland.

The rising star captained the Queensland and Australian Schools side as a teenager and he will rub shoulders with his local cousins today when the Oceania Sevens championships kick off in Samoa.

The young Australian team will be thrown into the lions den today, facing hosts Samoa in its opening Pool B match in trying conditions.

Games against the Cook Islands, Solomon Islands and Niue follow at Apia Park before knock-out play commences tomorrow.

A lot of these blokes have the opportunity to shine in Samoa, be selected for the international season, visit some pretty special destinations and possibly stake an early claim for Rio de Janeiro 2016 when Rugby Sevens is introduced into the Olympic Games, commented Australian team head coach Michael OConnor.