Friday, 4 July 2008 8:24 AM

Solomons National Rugby Sevens Team to World Cup Sevens 2009 Qualifiers

Solomon Islands will for the first time compete in the IRB World Cup Sevens Qualifiers for the FORU (Federation of Oceania Rugby Unions) region.

The games will take place in Samoa from the 25 - 26 July.

This was made possible following the successful participation of the national sevens rugby team in three tournaments last year and early this year.

The national sevens team proved themselves as among the best rugby sevens side in the region at the tournaments.

Eight men's teams and five women's teams will participate in the upcoming World Cup Sevens 2009 Qualifier Tournament. Solomon Islands had been pick in Pool A along side Samoa, Papua New Guinea, and Niue.

Pool B will consist of Tonga, Tahiti, Cook Islands and Vanuatu. Solomon Islands' national rugby team's scheduled games for Friday 25th July will see them taking on PNG in their first game.

Qualification for the next stage will see the four top teams from both pools advancing to play each other in the cup semifinals, while the next four losing teams from both pools will progress to play in the plate semifinals.

The winners will advance to play in the cup grand final and cup loser's finals, while the winners of the plate semifinals will progress to play in the plate finals.

For the women's competition, the first top four teams will progress to play each other in two semifinals to determine who will advance to play in the grand final as well as the loser's final.

From this qualification tournament, four men's teams will be picked to represent the rest of FORU in various IRB major tournaments and competitions, including the World Cup Rugby Sevens next year.

The team that came first overall will join the other three FORU countries, Fiji, New Zealand and Australia, who had already qualified for the World Cup Sevens next year. The first and second runners up in the cup final will gain entry into the IRB circuit next year.

The winner's in the plate final will gain entry into the Wellington Sevens in February next year.

Meanwhile, the national rugby sevens squad are hard at training under their coach Jim Seuika.

Currently the training squad members are: Edmond Tay Angikianga (captain), Carlwyn Tengemoana, Vivian Kelesi, Harris Taimama'o, Leslie Puia, Joe Wale, Linton Kamux, Stewart Baiabe, Daley Tesuatai, Roman Tongaka, Joseph Solodia, Jerry Tamonge, Joseph Alalo, Dave Kaitu'u, Leon Hatigeva and William Mohu.

Letters to the Editor All Letters
By STEVE BANI Vura Heights, East Honiara
By GEOFFREY MAURIASI USP, Lacuala Campus, Fiji
By CHARLES KOULI Gizo, Western Province