By Taromane Martin
SOLOMON Islands Rugby Union Federation (SIRUF) Development Officer Mr Alivereti Mocelutu has praised high school players for a successful Easter 7s competition yesterday.
SIRUF over the weekend staged their annual high schools Easter 7s competition at the Town Ground rugby stadium and saw Auki CHS claiming first place despite losing 26-0 to the national U-18 squad.
The former Fijian international said the competition is very important to SIRUF’s development plans in getting the country ready for the 2023 Pacific Games here in Honiara.
“The country has a very important activity coming up in four years’ time, the 2023 Pacific Games, and now we are looking at identifying players who can be consistent to represent the Solomon’s come 2023,” he said.
“It was a great competition yesterday (Saturday) and today (Sunday) which really helped us make some talent identification for our long term plans.
“Short term plans we have the Oceania competition and 2019 Pacific Games in Samoa coming up. But thank you guys for your execution and displaying of quality rugby,” he said.
The Development Officer also gave credit to the senior men’s 7s squad whose performances at last year’s Oceania qualifiers and Pacific Mini-Games convinced Oceania rugby to invite Solomon Islands for the youth qualifiers this month.
“Big credit to the senior 7s squad for helping SIRUF with this achievement. In fact it was from their performance at last year’s Oceania 7s and the Pacific Mini-Games in Vanuatu that convinced Oceania Rugby to invite the U-18 squad for the qualifiers,” Mocelutu said.
“Congratulations to the selected members of the national U-18 seven’s squad. This is their first time to be invited for the Oceania Youth qualifiers.
“In two weeks’ time the national U-18 squad will travel to Sydney Australia to compete in their first Oceania youth Olympic qualifiers,” he adds.
The Oceania Youth Olympic qualifiers will start on April 20-21 in Sydney, Australia. The winner of this competition will represent Oceania at this year’s Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, Argentina.