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Kingdom 7s kicks off tomorrow

Members of the Toloa Old Boys team with their placards championing the Digicel Square this afternoon. Photo: NUKU'ALOFA TIMES

NUKU’ALOFA-October 5: 9.20pm (Nuku’alofa Times): The Kingdom 7s rugby tournament kicks off at 9am tomorrow at the Marist Apifo’ou College grounds in Ma’ufanga here in Tonga.

Digicel Tonga’s Chief Executive Officer Ben Kealy launched the first-ever Kingdom 7s tournament this afternoon at the Digicel Square, where teams had gathered following the parade through Nuku’alofa.

Members of the Havelu women's team at the Digicel Square this afternoon. Photo: NUKU'ALOFA TIMES

Members of the Havelu women’s team at the Digicel Square this afternoon. Photo: NUKU’ALOFA TIMES

Pool matches in all the three categories kick off at 9am, with good weather predicted to hold for the two day event.

Kealy said Digicel was honoured to be involved in the event as a major sponsor.

They gave $10,000 in cash towards prizemonies.

The other major sponsor is UN Women, who are supporting the women’s competition, which also included the Under-19 grade.

Organising Committee President Vanessa Heleta said they were grateful to the teams that have entered for the event.

A total prizemoney pool of $37,000 is up for grabs, with finals scheduled for Saturday at the Ha’alano Grounds in Kolomotu’a.

Toloa Old Boys starts as the favourites in the men’s open grade while Hihifo is the top pick for the women open.

The Under-19s will be an interesting competition.

Members of the Vaini Doves team

Members of the Vaini Doves team

Winners in the Men’s Open will receive $10,000 while $7,000 go to the Open women winner.

The Under-19 winner gets $6,000.

The winners in the Men’s and Women’s open will get to travel to the Coral Coast 7s tournament in Fiji as well next year, with an invitation from the Coral Coast organisers.

This afternoon teams participated in the tournament parade with the theme of Stop Violence Against Women and Children.

Updates on the event will be on the Kingdom 7s Facebook Page and the Nuku’alofa Times page.


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