European tourists impressed with rugby talent

The array of talent on display during the recent Vailima International Marist Sevens tournament has impressed tourists Revaz Ghlighvashvili, Alexander Didbaridze and Llyr Rowlands.

They attended the recently concluded tournament and saw the Fijian side Tabadamu take out the championship trophy.

Speaking to the Samoa Observer, Revaz said they were impressed with the talent on display from both Fiji and Samoa.

“It’s good to see a lot of good players on the rugby field for today, been very impressed and yeah, it’s nice to see all sorts of players from Fiji (and) all over Samoa coming,” he said.

Revaz, who is from Wales, said he played rugby when he was 6-7 years old but hanged up his boots 10 years ago. His colleagues Alexander and Llyr concurred, but they said the Vailima International Marist Sevens tournament is out of their league.

 “I’m not sure I will survive right now; it’s some big games up there and I’m pretty sure I’ll end up landing at the hospital, either that or get a heart attack,” Revaz said, jokingly.

“It’s too hot, in Wales we play in the cold and wet, here it’s too hot,” he added.

Alexander, 40, from Georgia in central Europe, echoed similar sentiments: “I don’t think so, I’m old enough for this now!”

Revaz said that back home there are specific rugby tournaments to cater for old players.

“You know, what they have in a lot of places now is that they have old boys’ tournaments in their 30s or 40s – to give a slower pace – so yeah we might compete,” Revaz said. 

“You’re a long time from retiring but as long as you can play, you play – but obviously it gets harder and things get harder in a lot of places – if you have a 40s tournament then that’s probably a bit better, because these guys are just too young,” he said, and pointed to the Marist Seven’s players.

Revaz also commended the organising of the Marist Sevens tournament he participated.

“It’s very well organized and been running pretty smoothly so been very impressed so far,” he said.

When asked if there was anything the tournament could improve on, he said maybe add another division to include older age groups along with men’s and women’s teams.

“I guess if yours could have like an age team, like have the boys team over 30s or 40s or whatever, then run that but I’m guessing you don’t have that many fields here either so it’s a bit limited.”

“But I guess if you had at least two to three fields that could run more competitions,” he said. 

More background information on the teams during the trophy presentation would have been, Alexander added.  

“You know when presenting teams: just present better, from where they are from, which town, which country because we are foreign and we don’t know. Like not just the name and Samoa, but also say which part of Samoa because it would be interesting, just for us to know,” he added.

Llyr said having more information about the teams will enable them to appreciate the tournament more. 

It is not the first time for them to visit Samoa and they will spend a few more weeks to enjoy the country before heading back to Europe. 

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