Rugby | SPORTS

Tussel for Olympic Spot Intensifies

This is our chance, says Samoan coach as South Africa, Great Britain, Ireland have yet to qualify
01 Nov 2023 16:30
Tussel for Olympic Spot Intensifies
Samoa men’s 7s players at the Sigatoka Sand Dunes on October 31, 2023

The tussle to win a spot in next year’s Olympic Games in Paris, France, has intensified.

The Samoa rugby sevens squad jetted into the country last week to have their final round of preparations before the Oceania Sevens Championship.

The competition kicks off on November 10 until November 12 in Brisbane, Australia.

The championship is a qualifying tournament for the Paris Olympics. Already New Zealand, Australia and Fiji have qualified while Samoa narrowly missed out in the last HSBC World Sevens Series.

Now, the Brian Lima-coached side have a good chance to make it to their first Olympic Games.

Samoa and France sevens players at Lawaqa Park, Sigatoka, on October 28, 2023.
Photo: Manu Samoa Sevens

“Although we were extremely disappointed that we missed out on an automatic qualification, we are aware that Oceania 7s is perhaps our best way to qualify, New Zealand, Fiji and Australia having already qualified,” Lima said.

The former Manu Samoa legendary winger said it is critical for them to make it count at the Ballymore Stadium because it is their only opportunity.

“Should we fail? The chances will be even more difficult with South Africa, Great Britain and Ireland also vying for the remaining spots in the final Olympic repechage next year,” Lima explained.

The Samoans took to the Sigatoka Sand Dunes yesterday morning and last Saturday had a number of friendly matches against the Fiji training squad and also with the France sevens squad who are also in the country.

The matches were played at Lawaqa Park in Sigatoka.

For the Olympic qualifiers, Samoa is in Pool B where they face Solomon Islands, Cook Islands, American Samoa and Tuvalu. In Pool C is Tonga, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Kiribati and Nauru.



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