26 Jul 2008

Rugby World Cup Sevens qualifying in Samoa this weekend

6:18 am on 26 July 2008

The latest phase of qualifying for Rugby World Cup Sevens 2009 takes place this weekend with the Oceania region men's and women's tournaments in, Samoa.

Samoa, Tonga, Papua New Guinea, Cook Islands, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Niue and Tahiti will compete in the men's event, with New Zealand, Australia, Fiji, Samoa and Niue bidding to make history and qualify for the first ever RWC Sevens women's competition.

The top two men's teams will qualify for RWC Sevens 2009 in Dubai in March, joining defending champions Fiji, runners-up New Zealand and Australia who qualified automatically from the region by making the Melrose Cup quarter-finals in Hong Kong in 2005.

In the women's the top two teams will qualify for RWC Sevens.

Regional qualifiers have already taken place in South America and Europe this year with Uruguay, Portugal, Wales, Georgia, Ireland and Italy joining automatic qualifiers Fiji, New Zealand, England, South Africa, Australia, France, Scotland, Argentina and Host Union Arabian Gulf in the men's event.

The seven nations already qualified for the first ever RWC Sevens women's event are Brazil, England, the Netherlands, Russia, France, Spain and Italy.

Following the Oceania qualifier this weekend, four further regional tournaments will take place.