The Lauli’i Lions have been invited to represent Samoa at the Bayleys Fiji Coral Coast Sevens

The Lauli’i Lions have been invited to represent Samoa at the Bayleys Fiji Coral Coast Sevens after they beat Vaiala 17-12 in the inaugural Samoa Independence Sevens on Saturday.

“We are pleased to invite Lauli’i to the ‘champion of champions’ at Lawaqa Park on November 13-15,” said Tournament Director Nick Jordan. “The Lions also finished runners-up in Samoa’s Marist Sevens in February so are obviously a top Samoan club.

“Should they accept it will be great to see them take on our reigning champions, Yamacia, and other clubs from around the Pacific in “Rugbytown” (Sigatoka) later this year.”

Jordan said the 24-team men’s field for the fifth annual Bayleys Fiji Coral Coast Sevens was taking shape.

“Rangataua, the winners of New Zealand’s Middlesex Sevens, have accepted our invitation and we will again be reaching out to the winners of the Serevi Rugbytown Sevens (Colorado, August) and the Fitness First Central Coast Sevens to be held in October.

“Our sponsor teams are likely to include Outrigger on the Lagoon, Naviti, Coastal Rental Cars and Serevi Rugby plus we are in discussions with several partner tournaments as well as guest teams from overseas.

“On top of that the ‘best of the best’ from Fiji will come through the Coastal Great Eight, to be held in the first weekend of November, to create another high-quality tournament.”

Jordan said there were still vacancies for sponsor teams.

“We are targeting eight sponsor sides and one of the major benefits is the direct entry meaning the team does not need to go through the qualifying tournament to compete for the $75,000 prize pool,” he said. “We are always keen to talk to companies who wish to become associated with the tournament and its high-quality teams.”

Meanwhile, the 12-strong women’s competition is also attracting star participants.

“The Aussie Pearls, who won the event in 2012, have already announced their participation and we are thrilled to welcome back Sunnybank and New Caledonia along with newcomers Redlands and the Highlanders to compete for the Crest Na Iri Trophy” said Jordan.

“We have interest from teams in New Zealand and the USA and of course Fiji as the new Olympic sport of sevens continues to grow.”