Rugby in an ocean par­adise

RW’s Alex shaw goes on an is­land ad­ven­ture as he re­ports from the World Club 10s in mau­ri­tius

Rugby World - - News -

Anked At 86th in the world – nestling be­tween niue Is­lands and the ba­hamas – it’s un­der­stand­able if rugby isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you think of mau­ri­tius.

the small is­land in the In­dian Ocean did, how­ever, host the World Club 10s this sum­mer and put on a fab­u­lous show for lo­cals, tourists and play­ers alike. It was the sec­ond edi­tion of the tour­na­ment fol­low­ing its in­au­gu­ral event in sin­ga­pore in 2014, af­ter which it took a sab­bat­i­cal due to the all-en­com­pass­ing 2015 World Cup.

the mantra of ‘rugby in par­adise’ was not just some throw­away pro­mo­tional slo­gan from the or­gan­is­ers of the com­pe­ti­tion, it per­me­ated ev­ery level of the event. From lux­u­ri­ous ho­tels with ex­pan­sive vis­tas of white beaches to the bustling cap­i­tal city of port Louis, mau­ri­tius de­liv­ered a to­tally unique event, blend­ing lo­cal cul­ture with all the thrills and spills you would ex­pect of a week­end at a sev­ens tour­na­ment.

RGROWING TOUR­NA­MENT

sara­cens and toulon were two of the eight pro teams tak­ing part but it was left to the Aussies to fight for the ti­tle, West­ern Force pip­ping the brumbies 7-0 in the fi­nal with michael ruru as player of the tour­na­ment.

the ath­letes clearly en­joyed them­selves, brumbies prop ruan smith say­ing: “It’s (tens rugby) great for de­vel­op­ing skills and break­down work, with teams not com­mit­ting more than one or two play­ers. tight-five play­ers don’t of­ten get the op­por­tu­nity to do like­wise in sev­ens.”

Jon phelps, founder of Car­i­nat sports mar­ket­ing, who or­gan­ised the tour­na­ment, con­firmed that it will be played in mau­ri­tius for the next three years and that they hope to grow the event over that pe­riod.

“this year was about get­ting the build­ing blocks – get the pro teams to come, en­joy it and see the value in it for their own brands as well.”

phelps now aims to in­crease the num­ber of satel­lite tour­na­ments along­side the pro tour­na­ment, with men’s, women’s and touch com­pe­ti­tions for sides from all over the world set to join the 2017 event.

LO­CAL IN­TER­EST

the rugby took place at An­jalay sta­dium, an 18,000-ca­pac­ity venue

“WE WANT THE IN­dIAN OCEAN TO HAvE A

Palms ready Vis­it­ing sides en­joy beach train­ing

Tast­ing vic­tory West­ern Force won an all-Aussie fi­nal

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