By Taromane Martin
THE Solomon Islands Rugby Union Federation (SIRUF) says they will be hosting a national 7s tournament in Fiji in March for Solomon Island descendants.
A statement from SIRUF CEO Mr Gerald Oiaka said this will be the first time for the federation to host a national 7s event outside of the country.
Mr Oiaka said the purpose of hosting this tournament is more on building relationships with Solomon descendants in Fiji through playing the game of rugby.
The CEO also confirmed that the country’s national 7s team will be attending this one day competition as they prepare to also attend the Marist 7s competition in Fiji which will also kick off in March.
He adds that as part of their vision in building ties in Fiji, SIRUF will be inviting a team over for the Solomon SPO 7s which will be made an international tournament this year.
“The National Senior squad will be going to Fiji on March 12 to participate in the SOLTUNA 7s which will be hosted in Fiji for the Solomon decedents,” Mr Oiaka said.
“This will be the first time for SIRUF to host a National Tournament outside of the Country. The tournament will be sponsored by SOLTUNA Company and is a one day tournament set for 17th of March, 2018.
“The purpose of the tournament is more on building our relationships with our Solomon descendants through playing rugby.
“Last year, friends of Malaita help to bring over five Solomon descendants who are connected to Kwaio. Rugby helps them connect to their tribe’s men and women who they have never seen before.
“They were able to visit their families in Kwaá village in West Kwaio. From the Soltuna 7s, they will be able to select their team to come over for the Solomon SPO 7s in July.
“The Solomon SPO 7s will be an Intentional 7s tournament that we will expect teams from overseas to come and compete with our teams,” he said.
“SIRUF expect 12 teams to participate in the SPO 7s tournament. After the Soltuna 7s, the National 7s team will remain to participate in the annual Marist 7s tournament on the 23rd and 24th of March, 2018.
“The team will return on the 27th March for the National 7s Tournament on the 31st March and 2nd of April, 2018.
“The Marist 7s Tournament usually have a total of 64 teams from Fiji and interested clubs outside of Fiji participate,” he adds.