Twenty-four teams – including one from China - have been confirmed for this year’s 30th Marist International Sevens tournament.
The Marist St Joseph’s International Sports Festival kicks off with the Netball tournament on Thursday 8th February and culminates with the 30th Marist International Sevens competition on Saturday, 17 February.
At the Marist Sport’s Club 30th anniversary launch last week, a live draw was conducted by the Marist Committee in allocating the 24 teams into eight competitive Pools.
Quarterfinalist teams from the last year’s competition are the top seeds for each Pool.
Tournament Director Fata Brian Kaio is confident this year’s expanded competition will be fitting to mark the 30th anniversary, with over 20 teams competing in the mens and the newly established womens division.
“We are excited about the expansion of the competition and it has attracted teams from abroad such as New Zealand, Australia, and Fiji and of course China,” Fata said.
“It’s a big ask from our organizing committee, but we’re committed to continuing the proud legacy of this competition. This year’s competition further provides more opportunities for local talents yet to be discovered.”
“Recognized as the birthplace that launched the careers of many of Samoa’s international rugby stars, the Marist International Seven’s Tournament has attracted the attention of the Chinese National Mens and Womens Sevens team who have their eyes firmly fixed on the next Olympics.”
Marist International Sevens Cup Holder of last year’s tournament Auckland Marist is in Pool 1 with Afega team and New South Wales Samoa team from Australia.
A newcomer team for this year’s tournament all the way from China will compete in Pool 2 alongside with Lalomalava team from the big Island of Savai’i and last year’s finalists B.B.E. Ulalei Vaiala team.
Moata’a team has been schedule in Pool 3 with Sa’asāai from Savai’i, and Marist Angel, while Marist St Joseph’s is in Pool 4 alongside the Sa’anapu and Moamoa team.
Taveuni team from Fiji is in Pool 5 with Apia Maroons and Tāga team from Savai’i, with Vailele team being top seed of Pool 6 with Tufulele and Salelologa team.
S.C.O.P.A. team, Malie team and Sale’imoa team are in Pool 7, whereas Satalo, Vaimoso and Tui Samoa Fasito’o in Pool 8.
Another exciting competition for this year is the inclusion of the women’s division.
Three teams from abroad have been confirmed with seven teams from the local club franchise here in Samoa.