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Tonga’s TOKO 7s qualify for World Cup 7s event

The TOKO 7s team in action against Vanuatu

NUKU’ALOFA – December 14: 4.10pm (Nuku’alofa Times): The Tongan TOKO 7s team qualified for the Rugby World Cup Sevens 2018 in San Fransisco after taking bronze in rugby sevens at the Pacific Mini Games in Vanuatu last week.

Tonga beat the Solomon Islands 24-19 to join the 21 other qualified men’s teams heading to San Francisco on 20-22 July, 2018.

Samoa won the tournament, beating Fiji 14-17 in the final.

Pep talk time from coach Taholo Anitoni as the team worked their way to the 7s World Cup at the Mini Games in Vanuatu

Pep talk time from coach Taholo Anitoni as the team worked their way to the 7s World Cup at the Mini Games in Vanuatu

Team manager Filokalafi Akauola said the win means a lot to the team and for Tonga sevens rugby in general.

He said they had to beat Vanuatu at all costs in the bronze playoff.

He added the team now has six months to prepare for the event.

Digicel had supported the team this year.

There will be 24 men’s teams in total at Rugby World Cup Sevens 2018.

Thirteen teams are qualified either by their placings at Moscow 2013 or via the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series and 11 through regional qualifiers.

To date, nine of the 11 regional qualified teams are known, with Tonga joining Hong Kong, Ireland, Jamaica, Japan, Papua New Guinea, Russia, Uganda and Zimbabwe.

Two other South American teams will be known in January to complete the 10 regional qualified sides.

The 10 sides will contest the Hong Kong Sevens qualifier next April to determine who takes seedings 15-24.

The top 14 seeds will be allocated to series qualified teams, with the points from their 2016-17 series being added to the first seven rounds of the 2018 world series.






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