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Samoa and Fiji are favorites for the Gold Medal in Wallis and Futuna Mini Pacific Games

There’s plenty of intrigue surrounding the start of the rugby sevens competition at the Pacific Mini Games in Wallis and Futuna on Tuesday.

Regional heavyweights Samoa and Fiji have sent development sides ahead of the start of the new IRB World Series next month. 

It will be the first chance for new Samoa coach, Viliamu Punivalu, to see his squad in action, while Fiji’s, Alivereti Dere, has just nine players to choose from after four were dropped from the original squad for playing for the provinces without permission before the team left. It will be the last time that Dere is with the squad as he has not re-applied for his job for the new season. An announcement is expected on who the new coach will be in the next week or 2 with former England coach reportedly having applied for the role.

Tonga and Papua New Guinea are the other team’s expected to contend for medals at the Kafika Stadium with Team PNG’s Chef de Mission, Richard Kassman, bullish about their chances.

“We’re the dark horse for the top one and two spots. Certainly we’ll be there fighting for a bronze medal but we’ve got our sights set a little bit higher.”

The tournament will give all of the competing nations a chance to kick-start their seasons with many of the other nations around the world either playing in Kenya or Romania in the coming weeks.

Source: ur7s.com
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