In­ter­na­tional star flies in for rugby union derby

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - Shane Ni­chols

THE Trop­i­cal Sevens rugby union tour­na­ment in Port Dou­glas has ex­panded to a two-day event this year, start­ing to­mor­row with a 24-team field of school boy teams as a pre­lude to the se­nior show­down on Satur­day.

It’s the first time school boy teams have been in­volved in the Trop­i­cal Sevens.

The Sevens event has been on an up­ward path in Port Dou­glas since its in­cep­tion.

An­tic­i­pa­tion at the Port Dou­glas Raiders has been build­ing for weeks fol­low­ing the news that one of the big- gest names in rugby union, Olympic gold medal­list Char­lotte Caslick, is go­ing to be the star turn this week­end.

Trop­i­cal Sevens di­rec­tor David Cot­ton achieved the coup of at­tract­ing Caslick to Port Dou­glas’ sevens af­ter her Olympic per­for­mance put her on his radar.

“I saw her win a gold medal and started do some re­search on her,” Cot­ton said.

He tracked down her man­ager and the visit was set in train.

Caslick is in Las Ve­gas for Sevens this week, and will come to Port Dou­glas vir­tu­ally di­rect, along with fi­ance and Aus­tralian men’s seven rep Lewis Hol­land.

“She is the big­gest name in world sevens rubgy at present and to have her here is an in­cred­i­ble op­por­tu­nity for us to shine the spot­light on this grow­ing event,” Cot­ton said.

Caslick and Hol­land will meet fans and sign au­to­graphs all day as well as into the evening at Rat­tle N Hum af­ter 7 pm on Satur­day.

About 38 teams will com­pete in the Sevens this year. It was won by SMC Townsville last year. Once again it’s ex­pected a PNG team will join oth­ers from all over the north­ern re­gion.

Some of the school teams are com­ing from as far as Rock­hamp­ton and Mackay.

“We in­tend to grow the Sevens as big as we can,” Cot­ton said. “It’s go­ing to be a great week­end, with a real car­ni­val at­mos­phere.”

“It’s fan­tas­tic to see the Sevens grow­ing,” said club stal­wart Adam Cal­craft. “The game of sevens is grow­ing all across the world.”

Un­der the wing of the Port Dou­glas Raiders club, the am­bi­tion for this event has no limit. One day, hope­fully not too far away, it might even see Caslick as a player.

She is the big­gest name in world sevens rubgy and to have her here is an in­cred­i­ble op­por­tu­nity for us

Trop­i­cal Sevens di­rec­tor David Cot­ton

Com­ing to Port Dou­glas for this week­end’s Sevens: Olympian Char­lotte Caslick

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