Twelve sides, up from eight last year, contest a total prize purse of $FJD15,000, including $10,000 for the winners, with the champion also receiving the striking **Crest Na Iri Trophy.
Aussie Pearls, the defending title holders, return to Lawaqa Park on November 14-16 as top seed. The recent Oceania Sevens champions play Fitness First Central Coast champions Tribe, local club Striders and newcomers New Caledonia in Pool G.
Host nation Fiji, who lost in that Oceania final a month ago, is in Pool H with fellow Fijians Marist Sea Hawks and visiting clubs Pacific Two Blues, recently crowned Sydney champions, and Sydney Fiji Ranadi.
“After this tournament we go to the IRB Sevens Women’s Series in Dubai so the Coral Coast Sevens will be used as a final trial,” said Fijiana coach Timoci Wainiqolo. “We know that it will be tough in Dubai but the preparation has started and we are looking forward to it.”
Serevi Selects, coached by USA women’s mentor Ric Suggitt and featuring several players in the USA Rugby residency program, meet Brisbane club Sunnybank and new local sides Central Chiefs and Outrigger on the Lagoon in Pool J.
The Americans, named after one of the major sponsors of the tournament, will be at their first Coral Coast Sevens while the Aussies return for their second tilt at the silverware having recently made the final at the Central Coast Sevens.
“We are delighted with both the increase in numbers and the quality of the field for the Crest Na Iri Trophy,” said Tournament Director Nick Jordan. “We are particularly looking forward to welcoming the new teams such as Serevi Selects, New Caledonia and Tribe and seeing whether the Aussie Pearls can repeat their exciting victory of 2012.
“The growth of women’s rugby sevens is relentless ahead of the Olympic Games in 2016 and we hope our tournament can assist the development of young players on their Road to Rio. Our thanks go to Goodman Fielder Fiji for their generous support of the women’s game.”
Pool play takes place over Thursday and Friday before the top eight and bottom four split off into knock-out matches on Friday evening.
**Na Iri translates as ‘the fan’ – an ornament made from the coconut tree palm and used in the traditional meke dance – with the trophy being a handsome carving.
It appears that the matches will only be broadcast locally. There are rumors that you can watch it here, but so far its only men’s games…If you know otherwise, please let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!