Sevens ready for HK show

Thursday April 04, 2019 Written by Published in Sports

The Cook Islands Sevens team had a scrimmaging session with Samoa on Tuesday ahead of the Hong Kong Sevens tournament that kicks off today.


The session allowed national coach Vase Samania to test the team combination and other areas before the opening pool match against Chile at 5.52pm (CI time) today.

In the second match, the side will take on Germany at 8.35pm before battling it out against Uganda in the final pool match at 3pm tomorrow.

“Actually, Gordon Tietjens (Samoa coach) asked me on Monday for a game, so it was a good chance for us to try out our combination,” Samania said.

“The campaign so far has been really good. World Rugby is really happy that we have eight new players in this tournament.”

Samania said the local and overseas-based players have been bonding well and were raring to take the field against their much fancied opponents.

“We are facing some big teams here but we will go out onto the field full of big heart.”

Samania said he also managed to find a team for the reserves player Stormmel Ruatoe, who travelled with the team. Ruatoe featured in the two-day annual Hong Kong Football Club Tens tournament which started on Tuesday.

“If you missed out on final selection, we will find a team (at the Tens tournament) for you as part of development programme. That has been my plan from the start. Hopefully what he has learnt will help grow rugby in Cook Islands.”

Cook Islands is playing in the qualifiers event of the tournament. The winner will get a place among the core 16 teams playing in the World Rugby Sevens Series.

In the other qualifiers pools, host Hong Kong is the top seed leading Pool E which has Tonga, Zimbabwe and Philippines while Pool F comprise Ireland, Russia, Uruguay and Jamaica.

The main draw (Pools A to D) will feature the teams that are part of the World Rugby Sevens Series.

Cook Islands Sevens


– Stephen Willis (Captain), Robert Heather Jr (VC), Josua Koroitukana, Teina Savage, Vaehoolu “Leki” Leka, Matamanea Matapakia, Colati “Tua” Ravula, Tokerau Raru (Australia), Christian Vainerere (Australia), Walter Koteka (Australia), Owen Karati (New Zealand), Gene Te Amo (New Zealand); Non travelling squad members – James Kora, Tanire Mokoroa, Jason Potoru, Junior Napara, Stormmel Ruatoe.  Management: Head Coach – Vase Samania, Manager – Ashleigh Willis and Physio Jana Whitta.




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