19 Dec 2016

Sport: Cook Island 7s take lessons from School Sevens

12:43 pm on 19 December 2016

Despite coming away winless, the coach of the Cook Islands U18 team says the inaugural World Schools Sevens has helped them prepare for next year's Youth Commonwealth Games.

Cam Kilgour's team lost comprehensively to the NZ Condors, NZ Fijians and NZ Maori teams.

Kilgour said they performed admirably given the lack of resources at their disposal.

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The Cook Islands U18s enjoyed the World Schools Sevens Photo: Cook Islands Rugby Union

He said players were able to see the level they needed to get to.

"We don't have High Performance programme and that is something that we are in the process of planning with World Rugby and New Zealand Rugby, getting the Cook Islands level and the training that we need that other Pacific island nations have," Kilgour said.

"We did come into it as underdogs but I think we will go away with some really good learnings and the fact that we have to step up and we have to develop our programme."

The opportunity was also used to blood players with an eye to July's Games in Barbados.

"We will keep an eye on these guys, we've told them what to do over the summer and they all want to be a part of the programme," Kilgour said.

"They loved the tournament, even though the results didn't go our way, they had a fantastic time. They had a taste of international sevens and they all want to be a part of it.

"From now until the Youth Commonwealth Games, we start planning and we start getting our players conditioned. As much as we can do with nothing," he said.

Kilgour said the success of the sport at Olympic level has given players greater aspirations and dreams and one day it is hoped a Cook Island team can participate at that level as well.

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Kilgour, far left in back row, says the Cook Islands need a High Performance programme Photo: Cook Islands Rugby Union