28 Jul 2012

Sport: Cook Islands womens sevens team hope to gel next week

9:28 am on 28 July 2012

Getting to know their teammates will be as crucial as unlocking the opposition for the Cook Islands women's sevens team next week.

The squad to compete at the Oceania Championship in Lautoka, beginning this Friday, includes four local players, five from New Zealand and four from Australia.

They won't meet up until the middle of next week and coach Walter Tagata - himself a late call-up - admits getting everyone to gel in just a couple of days won't be easy.

"We won't have our first training run together as a team until we arrive in Auckland on Wednesday morning but, in the meantime, what we've done is actually sent out programmes to the girls in Australia and New Zealand on our game plans to just keep them updated on progress. So hopefully when we meet up it will just flow smoothly rather than starting from scratch."

Cook Islands are in the same pool as New Zealand, Fiji and Tonga at the Oceania tournament, from which the top three finishers qualify for the 2013 Sevens World Cup.