Rugby: Fiji's Daveta keen to lay down a marker at the platinum jubilee edition of the Singapore Cricket Club International Rugby Sevens

Twelve sides representing seven countries will be battling for the prestigious Ablitt Cup at the 70th Singapore Cricket Club International Rugby Sevens.
Twelve sides representing seven countries will be battling for the prestigious Ablitt Cup at the 70th Singapore Cricket Club International Rugby Sevens. PHOTO: SINGAPORE CRICKET CLUB

Singapore - Twelve sides representing seven countries will be battling for the prestigious Ablitt Cup at Asia's longest running international club rugby sevens tournament - the 70th Singapore Cricket Club International Rugby Sevens (SCC7s) - at the Padang from Friday to Sunday (Nov 3-5).

Six-time champions Daveta from Fiji and Australian sides Tribe 7, Cottesloe, Casuarina Cougars, East Arnhem and Palmyra, making their 35th consecutive appearance, will be the Southern hemisphere sides to look out for, while the dark horses include developmental teams from France and Sweden.

Asia will be well represented by the Hong Kong Dragons and Japan's Tamariva, while the Singapore Barbarians and the SCC will fly the flag for the Republic.

At this evening's draw at the SCC, Daveta, who suffered a shock early exit last year after suffering defeats to England Academy and Australia's Sunnybank in the pool stages, were drawn into Pool A with the Dragons, Cottesloe and the Swedish Vikings.

"I've won this tournament twice (in 2011 and 2012) and our aim for this weekend is to win the Ablitt Cup again," said Daveta captain Sakiusa Gavidi, who has been a team stalwart since 2010.

"After Fiji won the (Rio) Olympics, there are high hopes on us in every international tournament and we are expected to play to a certain standard. This year, our team is made up of Fiji-based players from various villages and there is pressure to do well.

"Hong Kong Dragons will be a threat not only in our pool (stage), but also for the tournament, we are expecting a strong challenge from them."

Another team out to surpass last year's performances will be the France national development team, who have been grouped in Pool B, alongside Tribe 7, Palmyra and last year's Plate champions SCC.

"The boys have been together for two weeks already," said captain Hecquet Thomas.

"We spent one week training in Paris before arriving early in Singapore on Monday (Oct 30). We have acclimatised to the heat and we are ready to have a good tournament. Last year, we finished third, so our target this year is to win the tournament."

The Singapore Barbarians are in Pool C with Tamariva, the Cougars and East Arnhem.

Tickets are still available at the door with an adult pass at $30, while prices for Under-18s and full-time national servicemen are $10. All tickets exclude a $1 booking fee.

For more details, please visit http://www.apactix.com/events/detail/scc7s