Olympics warm-up for Aussie sevens teams

·1-min read

Australia's sevens star Maurice Longbottom says a late June tournament will provide valuable preparation before the Olympics-bound men's and women's teams.

The three-day four-team Oceania Rugby Sevens Challenge will be played in Townsville with Australia to be joined by Fiji and New Zealand while a Barbarians team in both the men's and women's competition will also participate - the first of any kind in sevens rugby.

Longbottom believes the June 25-27 tournament at Queensland Country Bank Stadium will give both Australian teams invaluable game time before the Tokyo Games after the world sevens was cancelled last year due to COVID-19.

"It's massive for us," he said via zoom call.

"We were lucky enough to play against New Zealand a couple weeks ago but now we get to get our hands on Fiji and you've got three of the top four teams in the world series up in Townsville playing - it's only going to be beneficial for those teams."

The Fijian men's and women's teams will arrive in Brisbane this week before undertaking their mandatory two-week quarantine on the Sunshine Coast.

Last month in a trans-Tasman series held in New Zealand, Australia's men were beaten in six straight games by the Kiwis while the women - the reigning Olympic champions - fared only marginally better, winning game one before five successive defeats.

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