In a first for the competition, the draw will have the women’s Championship Final as the finale game.
The draw for the Championships includes:
- Four (4) pools comprising of thirteen (13) team for the Men’s event
- Two (2) pools comprising of eight (8) teams for the Womens event.
- 51 matches in total:
- 27 matches on day one and 24 matches on day 2
- 31 Men’s Championship Matches and 20 Womens Championship Matches
Following their invitational appearance at the 2017 HSBC Women’s Sevens Series Sydney leg, Papua New Guinea Women’s team will be looking to make a strong start in the first match of the tournament against the Cook Islands at 11am on Friday 10th November with Fiji and American Samoa Men’s teams closing the first day of play.
The second day of play will start with the Men’s Championship quarter finals with the potential for HSBC Men’s Series core teams Australia or Samoa kick starting the Championship rounds. The Women’s Championship Final will be finale match of the Tournament. Reigning Olympic and Oceania Sevens Champions Australia will face some stern competition this year with HSBC Women’s Sevens Series Champions, New Zealand looking to add yet another trophy to their cabinet and home team Fiji who will be a threat to both.
When asked about the change to the finals arrangement Richard Sapias Oceania Rugby President noted,
“Careful consideration was taken for Oceania Rugby to depart from the traditional finals sequence of concluding a tournament with the Men’s final. Oceania Rugby believes this is a clear indication it is serious about increasing opportunities for participation and leadership for Women and Girls across the region by showcasing the Women’s final at the 2017 Oceania Rugby Sevens Championship”
“Rugby is one of the most popular and iconic sports in the Pacific,” said UN Women Fiji Multi-Country Office (MCO) Representative Aleta Miller, “the Oceania Rugby Sevens Championships is a perfect platform to encourage women’s equal participation in sport.”
“We welcome Oceania Rugby’s decision to swap the traditional finals sequence as a clear demonstration of its strong commitment to gender equality in rugby and ensuring equal participation for women and girls,” she continued.
World Rugby General Manager Women’s Rugby Katie Sadleir said,
“Oceania Rugby’s decision to position the women’s final as the highlight at the 2017 Oceania Sevens Tournament demonstrates their strong commitment to accelerate the development of women in rugby. Oceania Rugby has developed a number of exciting strategic partnerships, including UN Women, to support the growth of women in rugby, which World Rugby applauds. This latest strategic decision provides a fantastic opportunity to profile the exceptional talent that exists in the region.”
Fiji’s Minister for Youth and Sports, Honorable Laisenia Tuitubou, commended the initiative. He said the Government of Fiji’s strongly supports women in achieving their dreams.
“As the Fijian economy continues to grow to new heights, we need to translate that growth directly into implementation of our policies to ensure every Fijian – particularly our women and young girls – play their part in society and the economy. This initiative puts women at the forefront and creates new role models” Minister Tuitubou added.
“Participation in sport enables women and girls to enjoy freedom of expression and movement and increase their self-esteem and self-confidence”