AUCKLAND, (RNZI) -The Tonga Rugby Union says it will do everything it can to ensure the national sevens team is fully prepared for next year’s Olympic repechage tournament.
Tonga impressed at the Oceania Championship in Auckland, thrashing Samoa 41-5 in the semi finals before a 50-0 drubbing by Australia in the title decider.
Second place was enough to confirm a spot at next year’s global repechange event, from which the final Olympic berth will be decided.
Outgoing President and Chair of the Tonga Rugby Union, Epeli Taione, says with the World Cup over the Union plans to focus on the sevens programme in the next 12 months.
“Now we’re just going to put all our effort to make sure that we give them the best preparation they can. We still have a good chance in the repechage and as of today the team is already in preparation mode. According to Andy [Katoa, the coach] there will be a new addition into the side – we will find out in the next week of two – but everything, all the effort and time and resources will go to our sevens to make sure that we qualify for Rio. The dream is very much alive”.
Tonga has qualified for the Hong Kong Sevens but is waiting for World Rugby to determine whether their finish in the Oceania Champs will be enough to secure a place in the Sydney and Wellington World Series events.