The 31st International Marist Sevens, dubbed Samoa’s Premier Sevens tournament, will be held on the 15 – 16 February 2019 at the Apia Concrete Products Stadium, Lotopa.
The announcement was made by the Marist Sports Club yesterday.
The Women’s Tournament in its second year since its inception last year will be also be a main fixture of the event.
President of Marist Club, Faimalomatumua Mathew Lemisio stated, The Club is preparing once again for Samoa’s Premier Sevens and first international sports event our our Samoa Tourism Authority calendar. It’s important for the continuous development of our Sevens and create a platform for our local players to vie for national selection. Equally important is our Women’s rugby that is gaining momentum and we need to continue providing opportunities for the division to grow.
The Men’s competition will follow the HSBC World Rugby Sevens format of 24 teams divided into 8 Pools. The quarterfinalists or top 8 from last year’s event will be placed top seed for each pool. The rest of the teams will be placed by a live draw.
The main prizemoney for the Cup winner is $20,000. Entrance fee is $2,000 per team. Marist is a highly sought competition for placements to participate. Therefore, priority is given to teams that pay their entrance fee first.
The Christchurch Samoa Men’s Rugby is the first overseas team to confirm with entrance fee paid last week. Auckland Marist the defending champions will aim to secure a fourth consecutive title. NSW Samoa is the only team from Australia led by Kolose Feaunati. From Fiji, Cross of Victory Taveuni, Momi Tigers and Tabadamu have registered their interest to attend after the Coral Coast Sevens, Lautoka this week.
Salelologa leads the local teams as the hot favorites after winning the SRU Sevens Series last year and were also Bowl Winners of Marist 2018.
Sir Gordon Tietjens, our National Sevens Coach last year called for another Marist calibre like tournament in the year commented on this year’s preparation, “The Marist Sevens every year is a very important tournament for the development of sevens in this country. It potentially exposes promising players whom aspire to represent Samoa whch iin turn gives them real exposure on the World Stage. I as Head Coach of Manu 7’s use this tournament to select newer players who impress me with good performances over the two day tournament”
The Women’s tournament is still building up with the participation of as many local teams encouraged. Inaugural Cup winners in 2018, Auckland Samoa led by Tauanuu Nick Bukalich and Vania Wolfgram has confirmed their participation.
Te Tai Tokerau is a newcomer coached by former NZ Black Fern Rawinia Everitt. Kiwi League International and Manusina Captatin, Sui Pauaraisa will lead the Christchurch Women’s Rugby Sevens. Pauaraisa was a player for Auckland Samoa in Marist 2018 and she took out the top scorer for the tournament.
Apia Maroons, the champion of recent SRU tournaments will enter to secure its first Marist title. Other local teams include Aana Blues, Magiagi and Aleipata.
Tournament Director, Fata Brian Kaio, “The women’s tournament in 2018 became a crowd favorite with exciting side step and big tackles. This year, we are excited with three teams from NZ participating, lifting the level of competition.
We are working with Ms. Avii Faalupega of SRU to invite and encourage as many local teams to enter. We hope to get 10 teams in total. Last year, we were fortunate to have NZ Black Ferns Captain, Seiuli Fiaoo Faamausili and player Justine Lavea play in the tournament. Its great for Womens rugby in Samoa”
The entrance fee for the Women’s competition is $1000 per team with the Winners to take home $5000. It’s a step up from last year which was $3000.
Registration for Men and Women’s team is still open. Please contact Tournament Director, Fata Brian Kaio on firstname.lastname@example.org or 7651704.