The McDonalds 2019 Coral Coast Sevens is shaping up to be one of the best in recent years. Women’s, men’s and Youth teams from across the rugby globe and locally, will all battle it out in the four-day tournament that begins on Wednesday, and ends on Sunday with the men’s Cup final.
16 Men’s and 12 Women’s team will be competing for the honours, including the popular 16 team youth tournament [that started on Wednesday] which has been the start for many of the recent breakout stars of rugby sevens in the South Seas Islands.
To celebrate the International nature of the event, where global teams visit Sigatoka, recently retired Springboks star Bryan Habana will be a chief guest and tournament ambassador this year. In what is expected to be a well attended – and good preparations towards Fiji rugby sevens International competition – with all sides competing across the board.
Tough competition for Na Iri Women’s CC7’s title
Defending champions Striders will be expecting fireworks from opposing sides as they fight to retain their title.
Announcement….. Women's Division
We would like to welcome the next four teams to the McDonald's Fiji Coral Coast Sevens with hopes to raise the Na Iri trophy.
5. Outrigger Knights
6. NADI BLAZERS
8. Hope Rugby Club
— Fiji's Coral Coast 7s (@Coralcoast7s) January 1, 2019
They head Pool A with Marist Seahawks 2, Fiji Airports Nadi Blazers and Stars Rugby from the United States.
Striders has been boosted with the services of former USA Sevens star Bui Mataitoga and former Fijiana Sevens flyer Tima Ravisa. As well, in their squad is Nina Baleca who was part of the Fijiana squad in the opening two rounds of the HSBC Women’s Sevens Series.
Four 17-year olds will feature for the side, with the returning Siteri Tabua. A good mix of youth and experience, coupled with Fiji National XV’s flanker Mere Moto and Ako Ravato, who wish to play well at this years’ 2019 Coral Coast Sevens tournament.
The Nadi Blazers have a good squad too, filled with national XVs squad members, and knowing the Blazers reputation – they will be competitive from the start!
Stars Rugby has brought together players across the United States and the World giving them the opportunity to shine at the international stage. They will take teams to the wire if they execute well.
Roster Announcement: Lavinia Gould of @BlackFerns, @brisbanebroncos, @Reds_Rugby #SuperW, & #BayofPlenty joins #StarsRugby7s for @Coralcoast7s! She’ll lend experience as a crafty midfielder & mean defender to a strong women’s lineup! #starsfamily #fijicc7s #nz7s #rugby7s #wrugby pic.twitter.com/TtTGvs5PEB
— StarsRugby7s (@StarsRugby7s) January 2, 2019
Marist Seahawks 2 will be fielding a group of young stars, all hoping to learn more playing against the very best, in this International tournament.
Hong Kong ladies ‘mean business’
They are grouped in Pool F together with Scion Woo from the United States, Hope Rugby and local side the Fiji Airports Nadi Aviators. Hong Kong coach Jo Hull; like their Men’s team, has brought with them a good side hoping to topple the locals.
hong Kong Super-boot Natasha Olsen-Thorne will spearhead the HK campaign, using her vast experience at the Fiji tournament.
— HKRU (@HongKongRugby) January 15, 2019
Scion Woo with Asinate Serevi, daughter of Sevens maestro Waisale Serevi and former USA Sevens star Bui Baravilala, is part of a team to watch in 2019, along with Nadi Aviators.
Saying that, Hope Rugby will be the unknown team in this Pool.
Fijiana Development heads Pool G with Lautoka Crusaders made up of Striders players, Outrigger Knights and Marist Seahawks 1. It will be the Pool to watch with returning Sevens stars in the Fijiana Development side taking on their teammates from the Seahawks side.
Outrigger Knights and Lautoka Crusaders will challenge although, many might not see them winning the tournament yet…..anything is possible, during the popular 2019 Coral Coast Sevens.
2019 Coral Coast Sevens Women’s tournament – the Last Word
It should be a riveting four-way battle for the top prize in the women’s division, with Fijiana Development as agreed favorites.
Striders and Marist Seahawks will be the biggest challenges to the Fijiana groups objectives, with Scion Woo, as well as Hong Kong and the Stars Rugby invited teams both underdogs [but still a handful].
It will be a feisty, challenging, and breathtaking weekend, full of excitement. For local readers, entry is FREE at Lawaqa Park, Sigatoka; the home of Fiji Rugby.
If you want to watch catch the Livestream on the 2019 Coral Coast Sevens Facebook page, then be prepared to be entertained – and stay tuned to the Last Word on Rugby social media pages, as we bring you all the results as the tournament unfolds, on the official LWOR Sevens Facebook page.