The National, Friday July 27th, 2012
THE national rugby sevens team is exactly 30 days away today from the crucial Federation of Oceania Rugby Union (FORU) Sevens Championships, which will be hosted in Sydney, Australia on Aug 25-26.
Coach Warren Jennings brought his final squad to Port Moresby last weekend minus Morobe youngster Butler Morris due to school commitments, and signs are very clear that the past days have been hard.
“We started five days ago, and worked pretty hard over the past days. The boys are pretty tired,” Jennings admitted.“We will probably start to see after the hard week who, is ready to step up.
“This side was finalised after we ran fitness tests on our wider training group, so the week has been an opportunity to work closely with these particular players,” the New Zealander said.
“Again, it’s been hard, so we can pick out now who we know is ready to step up,” he said.
Oceania’s sevens championships is also the qualifying tournament for Tonga, Cook Islands, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Niue and PNG for places in the 2012/13 Wellington, Gold Coast and Hong Kong legs of the International Rugby Board Sevens Circuit.
Qualification at this tournament is very crucial for the national teams ongoing participation on the international sevens stage, and failure to do so will ultimately leave us out of the international arena until the next qualifiers in 2013.The 15-man squad will be in camp before one is omitted prior to travel.
The team leaves for Sydney on Aug 17.
There they will get the opportunity to face some strong opposition in good lead up games and preparation. The tournament begins on Aug 25.
The squad in camp is, Monty Diave, Billy Torea, Gairo Varo, Gina Ponda, Douglas Guise, Chris Kakah, Tisa Kautu, Jason Missian, Raymond Roberts, Hensley Peter, Timothy Pola, Gare Ponda, Henry Liliket, Albert Levi and Hubert Tseraha.