PAPUA New Guinea’s rugby union Sevens feat at last month’s Pacific qualifiers in Tahiti gained the country re-entry into the Wellington and Adelaide leg of the International Rugby Board Circuit, but no automatic qualification into the pools at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi next year.
The ‘qualification catch’ for the country sevens side, was revealed after Fiji’s ban from the Commonwealth Games was confirmed in a communiqué at the conclusion of the Commonwealth heads of government meeting (CHOGM) in Trinidad and Tobago at the end of last month.
CHOGM’s ban on Fiji counted for all their athletes and teams, including rugby sevens, and would leave a vacant spot in the draws, and hand PNG their ticket to Delhi.
Rugby PNG official Billy Rapilla could not confirm the team’s inclusion, however, said, “it was looking more likely”.
The side’s inclusion, however, lies in the success of Fiji’s case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), against the Commonwealth Games Federation over the ban.
A reversed decision from the appeal will ultimately mean Fiji’s re-inclusion and no-travel for PNG sevens.