Oceania U18 7s draws out

THE Oceania Rugby U18 7s championship draws have been released with the games scheduled for April 21-22.

The draw will feature a total of 31 matches at St Ignatius College in Sydney, Australia, to determine which boys and girls teams will go on to represent Oceania at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires later in the year.

The Samoan and Tongan U18 boys team will open the championships at 9am on Saturday, April 21 and the girls’ grand final will close the tournament the following day.

The scheduling of the girls’ final as the last match of the tournament replicates the 2017 Oceania Rugby 7s Championship and continues Oceania Rugby’s commitment to showcase and grow women and girls’ rugby across the region.

Oceania Rugby Women’s Director Cathy Wong said this was an exciting time.

“Right now, it is an exciting time within the region for rugby, the motivation on pathways within our member union and the ability this championship affords for national representation is something Oceania Rugby is committed to.”

Wong added the introduction of age grade teams into the Olympic movement hopefully would prove fruitful in reproducing the results from the 2014 Nanjing Youth Olympic Games and the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

The U18 teams look forward to complement a blockbuster international sevens season, with the focus on sevens rugby in the region at an all-time high with the Commonwealth Games Rugby 7s occurring the week before the Oceania Rugby U18s 7s Championships and teams from Papua New Guinea (Men’s and Women’s) and the Cook Islands (Men’s) preparing for the HSBC Sevens Series Qualification event in Hong Kong.

Fiji U-20 will play their first game against the Junior Wallabies at the Bond University, their game against New Zealand and their last game against Tonga.