PAPUA New Guinea rugby 7s team left quietly this morning for Tahiti in the hunt for the country’s re-entry into the International Rugby Board (IRB) World 7s Circuit.
The side, under coach Waisale Serevi, returned on Monday afternoon after the Gold Coast 7s tournament over the weekend.
The 12-man squad was maintained and returned to Australia yesterday on transit to Papeete, Tahiti.
The side’s main objective was to secure the two top spots in the Pacific 7s tournament.
According to the draws released by Friends of Rugby Union (FORU), the tournament will run for three days.
PNG will be playing its opening match against Niue followed by four games against Vanuatu, Tahiti, Samoa and Tonga the following day at the Stade Pater Stadium in Papeete.
The PNG 7s side will clash with traditional nemesis Cook Islands early on the final day before the finals.
Tonga, who won the inaugural Pacific Sevens tournament in Port Moresby last year loom as PNG’s biggest hurdle in the tournament while American Samoa is an unkown quantity in this event.
The American Samoans have not been part of the international rugby calendar for some time unlike their cousins Manu Samoa, who have gone to capture the world in rugby 7s title in recent years.
The final results in the round-robin matches will determine the teams eligible for the playoffs.
However, teams that finish in top two positions are ultimate guarantees for re-entry into the IRB world sevens circuit.
The side: Alex Haija, Monty Diave, Lawrence Kuso Jr, Gare Ponda, Karo Kauna, Albert Levi Jr, Leo Tikot Jr, Kojo Ware, Sova Milfred, Buckley Joseph, Benjamin John and Bobby Pau.