June 16, 2021
Rio Olympic champions Fiji will meet hosts Australia in the opening round of the Oceania Sevens which kicks off next Friday in Townsville.
Then followed by World Series champions New Zealand against the Oceania Barbarians, before the women’s teams close out the opening session.
On the same day, in the second round Fiji will take on the Oceania Barbarians at 9.30pm while New Zealand meets Australia at 9.52pm.
On Saturday, 26th June in round 3-Australia will play Oceania Barbarians at 4pm while Fiji will face New Zealand at 4.22pm. On the same evening, in round 4- Fiji will meet Australia at 9.30pm and New Zealand will take on Oceania Barbarians at 9.52pm.
On Sunday, 27th June in round 5-Fiji plays Oceania Barbarians at 2.30pm and New Zealand plays Australia at 2.52pm. On the same day in round 6, Australia takes on Oceania Barbarians at 7.45pm while New Zealand plays Fiji at 8.07pm.
The three-day tournament will mirror the Olympic format, with each team playing two matches per day (one in each session).
Each team will play the other three teams twice, with the highest ranked team after six matches declared champion.
All matches will be played at Townsville’s Queensland Country Bank Stadium from June 25-27, with the afternoon session on Friday and Saturday starting at 2.00pm, followed by the evening session at 7.30pm. The Sunday sessions will start earlier at 12.30pm and 5.45pm respectively.
The event will feature the national men’s and women’s sides from Australia, New Zealand and Fiji, starring Olympic, Commonwealth and Rugby World Cup Sevens champions. They will be joined by an Oceania Barbarians side in both draws.
It will be the first time the men's teams from Australia, New Zealand and Fiji have played in the same tournament since the Vancouver Sevens in March 2020, with the women last playing together in Sydney, a month earlier.
Australia and New Zealand played a six-match series in Auckland in May, but Fiji have not played an international match since early 2020.
This will be the last official hit-out for the three national teams before the Tokyo Olympic Tournament, which begins July 26, and will ensure teams the best possible preparation for the Games.
Team preparation ahead of this event has been made possible in part to the International Olympic Committee and World Rugby, who have invested US$4 million into Olympic qualified unions’ sevens programmes and towards the cost of high-performance preparation events, such as the Oceania Sevens.
By Romeka Romena