PAPUA New Guinea 7s team will be competing at the inaugural Hyperion Gold Coast International Sevens. They will leave for Queensland this afternoon for the event, which is offering a total prize of A$40,000 (K96,385.54).
This is the first tournament they will be participating in ahead of the Pacific 7s event in Tahiti the following the weekend.
Known as MRDC Menjals, they are pooled against tournament favourites and three-time champions Darwin 7s champions Fiji South Sea Drifters.
The Menjals are coached by 7s legend Waisale Serevi, who is also the founding member of the Drifters.
Serevi said he was happy with the draw and the prospect of the side playing against a quality field
“I have seen the pools and they are good for our team. I am happy the boys will get the chance to play quality sides this weekend before Tahiti event.
“It is from there that we will try what we have worked on here, and learn from them,” Serevi said.
The event has drawn 16 top teams from around Australia and the Pacific blended with quality and experience players.
The field has Michael O’Connors, an Australian side, Aussie Spirit, Samoan Virgin Blue Island led by star-studded Wallaby legend Mark Ellas and a host of local sides peppered with Pacific residents.
The tournament has also attracted five women’s teams.
The Menjals will be led by experience campaigner and former Gold Coast schoolboy Alex Haija, Lawrence Kuso Jr, Karo Kauna, Gare Ponda, Monty Diave, Buckley Joseph, Benjamin John, Sova Milfred, Bobby Pau, Leo Tikot Jr, and flyers Albert Levi Jr and Kojo ‘rojo’ Ware.
Serevi said he was satisfied with his boys’ preparation.
“We want to be there as long as we can, and play as many games as we can,” he said.