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Serevi continues to rule even after retirement. Photo credit Google Image.Serevi continues to rule even after retirement. Photo credit Google Image.The Vancouver International Rugby board has named the Abbotsford Sevens after Fijian sevens great Waisale Serevi.

 

The largest International rugby 7s tournament in Canada, and second largest in North America, will now be known as the Vancouver International Rugby 7s Serevi Invitational.

 

The Flying Fijian is widely acknowledged to be the finest sevens player of all time. Serevi earned 39 caps with Fiji’s national 15s team, then turned to the sevens game as a player and coach before settling in Seattle.

Tournament president Douglas Okero said having Serevi attached to the event raises the profile considerably. “With him on board, hopefully we get certain countries that, in the past, may have overlooked us, or because we were still a small event, they went to a bigger event than us,” he said.

Now a coach, his company, Serevi Rugby, located in Seattle is focused on developing and promoting rugby worldwide through youth camps, high-quality coaching and training programmes.

The tournament will be staged in Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada on July 21-22, 2012. The fourth annual event (first three staged in Abbotsford) is expected to draw teams from a host of countries.

 

“We are currently in negotiations with several countries and international teams for the 2012 International 7s,” said Okero.

“Some of those countries and teams that have shown interest are United Kingdom, Samoa, Fiji, Uruguay, Kenya, Cayman Islands, Netherlands, USA and Tonga.

 

The full compliment of teams competing will be known early in the New Year.

Rugby 7s is one of the fastest-growing sports in the world and has been awarded a spot in the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics. Similar International tournaments are staged annually in Hong Kong, Fiji, Japan and Las Vegas. “I am very pleased we will have the opportunity to host the International 7s tournament-the largest rugby 7s tournament in Canada,” said Burnaby mayor Derek Corrigan. “This will be a great opportunity to showcase this up and coming sport in our region and to all citizens to have an up-close look at these exciting players.”

 

Winner of last year’s International title was the Fijian Ambassadors. Old Puget Sound won the men’s Elite crown while Burnaby Lake won their third consecutive women’s title.

 

 

 

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