What: Brumbies Q Sevens
When: Saturday, February 16
Where: Campese Field
QUEANBEYAN Rugby’s annual Sevens tournament will take on an international feel for the first time this year with the inclusion of a Chinese women’s side from Shandong Province.
The Shandong side is currently touring Australia with China one of a host of non-traditional rugby nations increasingly turning their attention to the seven-a-side game after its inclusion as an Olympic sport.
Sevens Rugby will make its Olympic debut in Rio De Janeiro in 2016 and Queanbeyan tournament organiser Phil Hawke said the move had seen a spike in interest in the fast-paced code.
“With Sevens now an Olympic it’s really taking off and a lot of countries like China and Kenya who can’t compete in the 15-a-side game are finding they can compete in Sevens,” he said.
“[Queanbeyan’s] women’s competition especially is one of the strongest in the country as there aren’t a lot of places the run women’s sevens so we’ve got teams coming from everywhere.
“To have Shandong coming though is a real coup.”
In total, 13 women’s teams and 16 men’s teams will contest this year’s tournament, recently rebadged as the Brumbies Q Sevens with the ACT Brumbies having come on board in support of the competition.
Along with Shandong, teams from Sydney and Victoria, as well as every Canberra club side will be represented.
The Queanbeyan Whites meanwhile, are expected to mount a vigorous challenge for this year’s title having yet to claim victory in the club’s own tournament in its five-year history.
The Queanbeyan tournament is the major lead in to the marquee Kiama Sevens, Australia’s largest Rugby Sevens competition.
This year’s competition will be held in conjunction with the Brumbies first home game of the season against the Queensland Reds at Canberra Stadium on February 16.
See next week’s Queanbeyan Age for a complete preview of this year’s Brumbies Q Sevens tournament.