Noosa Sevens to be Olympics selection trial
RUGBY SEVENS: Australian men's sevens coach Geraint John will use October's Noosa International Sevens Festival as a selection trial in his team's build-up for the 2016 Olympics.
The IRB announced yesterday that Noosa would host this year's Oceania Sevens tournament.
It will feature the Australian, New Zealand, Fijian and Samoan national teams.
John said the festival, a week before the IRB Sevens World Series opener on the Gold Coast, would give him an opportunity to make final adjustments to his squad.
"It will give us that little bit of physical preparation, that hardness and that mental preparation ready for the following week," said the coach, who led Australia to a Commonwealth Games bronze in Glasgow.
"And it will be a great opportunity for those players on the fringe to go there and test themselves."
This year's World Sevens Series takes on added importance because the top four qualify for the sport's Olympics debut, meaning teams will want to hit the ground running.
"IT'S a big year for us and Noosa is a part of that," John said.
That should ensure world champions New Zealand and powerhouses Fiji, Samoa and Australia are in peak condition for what promises to be the most exciting tournament in the Noosa International Sevens Festival's four-year history.
The tournament - from October 3-5 at the Noosa Dolphins' home ground at Sunrise Beach - will feature 12 national teams from across the Pacific as well as major club sides.
A seven-team women's tournament will boast sides from Australia, the Cook Islands, Fiji, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Samoa and Tonga.