By Sasha Pei-Silovo – EM TV, Port Moresby
After finishing third at the Oceania Regional Qualifying Tournament earlier this month in Auckland, the Cook Islands women’s 7s team are not losing sight of their goal to make it to the 2016 Rio Olympics with preparations already underway for the final qualifier in June, next year.
The final 2016 Women’s Rugby Sevens Final Olympic Qualification Tournament will be held in Monaco, and the ladies have plunged right back into training soon after competing at the regional meet.
The 12th and final place in both the men’s and women’s Olympic Games rugby sevens competitions will be known through the World Rugby final repechage tournament.
The 2015 Oceania 7s championships saw the Australian men’s and Fiji women’s sides edge out their competitors to win the tournament and claim their places at the rugby sevens competition at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Next year’s Olympic Games will see the debut of the sport of rugby sevens where six women’s and six men’s teams will compete.
Brazil, as the host nation, has secured automatic qualification into competition while six regional qualifying tournaments have been held around the world for nations vying for places at the world’s biggest sporting event.
Speaking with Radio New Zealand, the head of Cook Islands Rugby Union, Ben Koteka, said that although dates were yet to be reconfirmed for the repechage tournament, the Cooks’ women’s team were working hard to ensure that come June, they will be ready to give their best.