Abbotsford 7s Rugby Tournament

July 24 2010

Waisale Serevi

Day 1 Complete Dog River Howlers and Valley High Dominate in International Pool Play; South Seas Wins Men's Elite; Burnaby Lake Win Women's

posted July 24 2010
[ed. comments below]

Another fantastic day in Abbotsford to usher in the 2nd Abbotsford 7s event. Action was continuous on the main stadium field with high level international play and 3 adjacent fields were going none stop with women’s and men’s elite games. The women’s and men’s finals wrapped up today and international play continues tomorrow. In the Women’s final Burnaby continued their winning ways downing the Emerald City Mudhens from Seattle 17-5. They’ve won every women’s division so far this season in the BC 7s series. In the men’s elite division South Seas from Victoria were winners downing Meraloma 31-7. South Seas includes pacific island players from various club like Pita Savea from Velox and Sipili Molia from Castaway Wanderers.

The results of Day 1 in the International Division sees Valley High and Dog River Howlers on top in Pool A and B. These two teams look like the favourites going into Day 2 of the competition. Both teams boast current and former Canadian internationals. The final pool standings on Day 1 are:

Pool A

Valley High
Old Puget Sound
Burnaby Lake Lighthouse
Kenya Shujaa

Pool B

Dog River Howlers
South African Barbarians
Canadian Maple Leafs
Fiji Ambassadors

Scores were as follows:

Burnaby 54 – Kenya 0
OPS 12 – Valley High 26
Maple Leafs 14 – Dog River 19
Fiji 14 – South Africa 19
Valley High 26 – Burnaby 10
Kenya 5 – OPS 35
Dog River 26 – Fiji 14
South Africa 17 – Maple Leafs 7
Dog River 35 – South Africa 5
Burnaby 17 – OPS 19
Maple Leafs 19 – Fiji 12
Kenya 0 – Valley High 44

Tomorrow the International quarter finals take place at 11:40am.

Abbotsford Schedule Announced for International, Men's Elite, Women, U16

Schedule provided by Doug Primrose
posted July 22 2010

Abby Schedule in .xls format

Games start at 10am on Saturday with 20 matches in the main stadium, 15 in the SouthWest field, 15 in the Northwest Field, and 5 on the Southeast Field. Matches end at 6:35 on Saturday.

On Sunday it's just the International and U16 as the Men's and Women's competition wrap up on Saturday. The games start at 11:20 and end at 6:30.

Abbotsford 7s Teams Announced: 10 International, 12 Men's, 6 Women's, 8 U16

from Summer Dhillon
posted July 18 2010

Abbotsford Sevens is Only One Week Away!

(Abbotsford, BC) It’s only one week until Canada’s only International Rugby Sevens Festival takes place. International stars, Waisale Serevi (Fiji) and Mark Andrews (South Africa), along with A-list teams from South Africa, Kenya, Fiji, United States and Canada are hitting the airways to compete for the main Cup.

The official team list has just been released. The following teams will be competing.

1. South Africa Barbarians
2. Canadian Maple Leafs
3. Kenya Western Select
4. Fiji Ambassadors
6. Burnaby Lake Lighthouse
7. Dog River Howlers
8. Valley High
9. Bayside Select
10. Abbotsford RFC

1. James Bay
2. Burnaby Lake Lighthouse 2
3. Brit Lions RFC
4. Meraloma
5. Bayside Breezers
6. BCRN Development
7. Surrey Beavers
8. OPSB 2
9. Del Rey RFC
10. United RFC
11. Cowichan RFC
12. South Seas

1. Abbotsford RFC
2. Bayside RFC
3. Burnaby Lake Lighthouse
4. Del Rey RFC
5. Emerald City Mud hens
6. Cowichan RFC

1. Island South
2. Okanagan
3. Valley East
4. Vancouver West
5. Island North
6. Valley West
7. Vancouver North
8. Vancouver East

Welsh High School Vs Abbotsford All Star

Abbotsford Sevens is a rising star as Canada’s first International Sevens tournament. In only in its second year, the Abbotsford Sevens has grown to include the BC Summer Sevens Series circuit, and is sanctioned by the BC Rugby Union and Rugby Canada.

Abbotsford Sevens is a two-day event held July 24 & 25 at the Rotary Stadium. Rugby 7s is complimented with exhibitions, live entertainment with Taiko Drummers and renowned Vancouver Top DJ’s Supafly, BZ Black, Jeffries, and Bakumba playing tops hits at the after parties. Other attractions include the Russell Club House, an incredible ethnic food fair, Coca Cola, Booster Juice, Vitamin Water and Starbucks refreshment stands, a family fun zone with face painting, bouncy castles and so much more. Parties are held from Friday, July 23 straight through Sunday at the Phoenix & Finnegans.. Doors open at 8pm.

Tickets are selling fast and a weekend pass is only $20! For more information visit today.

Serevi's Welcome Ceremony and Dinner on Friday July 16th

posted July 10 2010

The Fijian community in Vancouver is awaiting the visit from the "King of Sevens" and hosting a Welcome Ceremony and Dinner on Friday July 16th in Surrey.

Waisale Serevi and former Springbok Mark Andrews Announced as Tournament Guests

Abbotsford 7s Media Release
posted July 1 2010

Almost immediately after announcing the arrival of Waisale Tikoisolomoni Serevi, Abbotsford Sevens organizers received confirmation that another superstar, Mark Gregory Andrews of the South African Springboks, is also coming to the Abbotsford Sevens this summer.

Andrews is deemed to be one of the finest athletes of his generation. Although his list of accolades is quite long, his most notable accomplishments include winning 77 test caps, titling him the most capped forward in Springbok history, earning his position as a member of the 1995 Rugby World Cup Team and being awarded the Tri-Nations winners’ medal in South Africa’s first-ever Tri-Nations triumph in 1998.

Andrews made his international debut against England in Cape Cod in June 1994 when South Africa won 27-9. He participated in the second World Cup in 1999 before playing two more seasons for the Boks and bowing out from the international stage in 2001.

Abbotsford Sevens is a rising star as Canada’s first international Sevens tournament. Only in its second year, the Abbotsford Sevens has grown to include the B.C. Summer Sevens Series circuit, and is sanctioned by the B.C. Rugby Union and Rugby Canada.

Outside of the men’s and women’s elite divisions, the 2010 Abbotsford Sevens’ roster of teams includes a strong international division, the South African Barbarians, Dog River Howlers, New Zealand Aliens, Canadian Maple Leafs, Ambassadors Fiji Select, Kenya Select, Samurai International and Old Puget Sound OPSB RFC .

Unlike traditional rugby with 15-player teams, Rugby Sevens only needs seven. It is more engaging, as the rules are simpler and the game is fast-paced and exciting.

Abbotsford Sevens is a two-day event coming July 24 and 25 to the Rotary Stadium in Abbotsford. It is complemented with exhibitions, live entertainment, the Russell Club House, an ethnic food fair and a family fun zone.

A portion of the revenues will be donated to the Zajac Ranch For Children.
Follow on twitter at @abbotsfordsevens or join the growing fanbase at Abbotsford Rugby Sevens. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit

Sevens – Waisale Serevi the Tukuni comes to Abby 7’s

by BCRN 7s Correspondent
posted June 3 2010

‘Tukuni’ means legend in the Fijian language. Basically - the expression is reserved for special stories which are passed down from generation to generation.

Waisale Tikoisolomoni Serevi was born on 20 May 1968 in Qarani, Fiji. He was the third of five children and was raised by staunch Christian parents who were both very involved in the Church.

It is reported that Serevi’s inspiration to play rugby stemmed from a childhood encounter when he saw Fiji defeated the British Lions in 1977.

Waisale Serevi made his Sevens debut at the Hong Kong Sevens in 1989.

Immediately he captivated the world with his skills, balance and understanding of the game. Simply put his skills were intoxicating and crowds flocked to watch this new magic man.

At the conclusion of the 1989 Hong Kong Sevens event Serevi was named Player of the Tournament – and thus began a saga of sport entertainment and skill which would thrust Sevens rugby onto the world stage and ultimately into the Olympic Games many years later.

While the face of Sevens maybe changing across the globe as it moves towards an Olympic date in Brazil – some things remain constant and will be implanted in the history books for all-time.

As the unique and ever expanding iRB Sevens circuit is today - so too is the man who gave Sevens rugby much of its profile and prestige. Serevi did this not by what he said, but by what he did on the rugby field.

His resume is an impressive document and not unlike other elite super-stars in modern sport – except Waisale Serevi comes from the tiny atoll which makes up the Fiji Islands in the southern Pacific Ocean.

Serevi has been capped 39 times for his country in the 15-man game alone including three RWC appearances - but his career really starts and still continues today in the Olympic sport of sevens rugby.

He has records and accomplishments galore - two Melrose Cups, five Hong Kong Sevens titles, three Hong Kong Sevens ‘Most Valuable Player’ awards, two silver medals in the Commonwealth Games and a World Games gold medal in 2001. The records continue without pause especially in the iRB Sevens log book – even today it makes for incredible reading.

Serevi retired from International rugby after the 2003 Rugby World Cup, but was persuaded by Fiji to return for the 2005 Sevens World Cup. He placed an exclamation point on his career by leading Fiji to the title - making Fiji the first nation to win two Sevens World Cups.

On July 24, 2008, the Fiji Rugby Union announced the return of Serevi as Fiji’s coach for the 2008-2009 IRB World Sevens Series and the Rugby Sevens World Cup in Dubai.

Today Serevi continues to be involved with rugby events both locally and abroad as a player, coach, TV presenter, and administrator.

Records are one thing but they do not entirely portrait the man himself away from the competition.

For those of us who were fortunate enough to travel on the iRB Sevens circuit over the years – it is clear that everyone would enjoy a moment or two with this quiet Fijian man.

Always friendly, always polite and ever patient - Serevi is a man who makes eye contact when you meet him, his smile ignites the room and his delivery is direct.

He has stood calmly for photo shoots with Canadian players and coaches many times over the years without refusal while those nearby crave his time and his attention.

Only those fortunate enough to meet Waisali will understand with certainty that he is as unique as the sevens game itself.

It is a great honor to have Waisali amongst us here at the 2nd Abbotsford Sevens competition – we offer him a warm Canadian welcome and “Bula!”

We would encourage everyone to make time to greet Waisale during his stay at this two day sevens competition and ensure that your kids meet him as well – he may not pass by this way again.

Organizers Announce Confirmed International Teams

from Doug Okero
posted May 26 2010

The following are the 2010 confirmed key featured teams that will be participating in the international division. In total there will be 16 teams in this divison, these are just the incoming teams from outside.

Abbotsford International 7s 2010 Edition

International Teams

South Africa Barbarians
New Zealand Aliens
Kenya Select
Samurai International
Dog River Howlers
Canadian Maple Leaf
Ambassadors Fiji Select
Old Puget Sound RFC

Kenya Win Inaugural Abbotsford 7s

posted July 26 2009

Canada won the final game of the pool competition against Kenya 21-19 but when it counted in the tournament final it was Kenya that prevailed 14-12. It was so close between these two teams that 2 points either way was a true reflection of the competition. Both teams had to work hard in the semi-finals, Canada just getting by the West Indies 14-12 while Kenya defeated Old Puget Sound 19-0.

In the domestic division Canada Alumni survived a scare from Lionheart 7s to prevail 19-12. Lionheart are basically a mainland premier squad with names like Shaun Mercier and Derek Townsend. They were very close to creating an upset.

Player of the tournament in my opinion was Collins Injera of Kenya, very fluid, blinding speed and a certain panache that top 7s players like Injera and Serevi possess.

The event was well organized and attracted approximately 2,000 people. I'll write more about the event and its origins in a later article. The organizers were pleased with the response to the inaugural event and are already planning for Abby II with more international teams. There is also talk of having a second weekend event on the Island to make it more appealing for travelling teams to stay in BC. I'm certain Island fans could post similar attendance figures. Also to come photos and video highlights of the day's action.

Who’s Who at the Abby 7s: Tournament Predictions

[ed. comments below. Download a printable version of the 30 game schedule plus 16 teams rosters]
posted July 24 2009

Nothing better than a summer tournament to sharpen up those prediction skills. Let’s take a brief look at the field at the Abby 7s.

Elite Division

First glance says the Canadian and Kenyan teams are the class of the field. Kenya was moved into the same pool as Canada so there is a very good chance they’ll now meet in the final since the first and second in the pool play square off against the second and first in the other elite pool. The other teams in the pool with Kenya and Canada are the Young Bucks and Abbotsford. The Young Bucks won the Williams Lake tournament quite handily but this will be a big step up in competition. Abbotsford are the home team and will look to impress.

The other elite pool will be a tighter race with the West Indies likely to be one of the two teams in the semi-final. Puget Sound won the CanAm tournament a few weeks back, defeating Bayside so they’ll be looking to secure a top 2 finish in the pool. Bayside have a few flyers from their XVs team including Tony la Carte and Ali Shebani, the ageless Jon Thiel will be suiting up as well. A bit of an unknown is the Burnaby team which has a distinctly Fijian feel to their roster, their coach is even listed as a pastor as well so with a little extra help they may get into the top two.

Regardless I think both finalists will come from the same pool. Prediction: Canada and Kenya to meet in the final.

Domestic Division

Canada Alumni look to be the strength of this field, they actually could have competed in the Elite division and done well. I’m not too sure about their competition, the Del Rey team from Washington State is a bit of an unknown. The Lionheart team have a few well known names from the Rowing club and the Meralomas, so they might do well and certainly should be in the semis. Completing the field are local club teams Brit Lions, Surrey, and the Scribes. Finally a team called the Wizards from Vancouver. Prediction: Canada Alumni to win.

Also based on poll results and the number of programs that have been downloaded I’m predicting a healthy crowd, perhaps 3,000. It will be interesting to see since this has been promoted quite a bit outside of the rugby community and we’ll see on Saturday how effective that has been. Should be an excellent day of rugby and festivities.

Capping Ceremony from Matthuw Ronald-Jones

National Sevens Coach Morgan Williams and former National Sevens Manager/Coach Doug Tate will be presenting caps to: Joe Haley, Nick Milau, Brian Mosychuk, Shane Thompson and Jon Thiel. With the exception of Brian, all four guys also have Sevens caps. Saturday is shaping up to be a great day of rugby.

The Canadian Rugby Foundation has capped over 200 players in the past 5 years and we still have over 125 to cap. Our biggest challenge, is locating guys. If anyone knows of someone that has played for Canada and not yet been capped, the Foundation would appreciated being put in touch with that person.

30 Game Schedule plus 16 Team Rosters in Printable Format UPDATED: Abby 7s Latest News

[ed. for our reader's convenience I made up a printable version of the 30 game schedule plus 16 teams rosters (Kenya and West Indies have been switched in the pools and schedule). It's in .pdf format and if you print double sided you can simply fold the paper in half to make a convenient program to take with you this Saturday. If there are roster changes or additions I'll revise accordingly.]
updated July 23 2009

The West Indies Sevens team arrived on July 19th, and the Kenyan Sevens team will land this Thursday. It was just announced that Collins Injera, a core player for the Kenyan Sevens squad who debuted with the team at the 2006 Dubai Sevens, became the top ‘try scorer’ at the 2008-2009 IRB Sevens World Series and was nominated for the IRB’s Sevens Player of the Year, will be joining the Kenyan Sevens.

New partners and sponsors continue to come forward. The International Athletic Rugby will replace Kukri Sports as the official merchandise sponsor and the Rugby Canada Foundation has organized a youth coaching clinic, and will be honouring select athletes who once represented the Canadian National Team with a capping ceremony. The youth clinic is being held on Friday, July 24th from 4:30 to 6:00 pm at Abbotsford’s Exhibition Park. The clinic is open to players from all communities entering grades 7-12. It is sure to provide an outstanding mentorship opportunity with some of Canada's best players.

The tournament is ready to go and prepared for the hot weather with lots of shaded areas and tents. The entertainment portion has expanded, and now includes Taiko Drummers and Bhangra Dancers, along with the family centre, guests appearances by the BC Lions Felions, multicultural exhibitions, music by DJs Bakumba, Mose, and Peter, and an after-party at Blueridge Bar and Grill.

Lineups for Canada Chairman Selects and Canada Alumni Announced

[ed. comments below]
posted July 20 2009

Lots of talent on both teams with the Selects playing in the top tier competition and the Alumni in the lower division. With national teams from Kenya and the West Indies in the tournament this is shaping up to be a competition of the highest calibre.

This Saturday at Rotary Stadium, located at the Abbotsford Exhibition Park. Games kick off at 10am.

Canada Chairman Selects
(clinic denotes presence at the Friday youth 7s clinic)

1) Chauncey O’Toole (Clinic)
2) Nanyak Dala (Clinic)
3) John Moonlight Jr (Clinic)
4) Nolan Miles
5) Justin Mensah-Coker
6) Phil Mack (Clinic)
7) Bryn Keys (Clinic)
8) Matt Evans (Clinic)
9) Connor Braid
10) Dean Van Camp
11) Beau Parker (Clinic)
12) Ed Fairhurst

Canada Alumni

1. Jeff Williams
2. Morgan Williams
3. Shane Thompson
4. Dan Harlow
5. Robin MacDowell
6. Andrew Hoffman
7. Jason Hartley
8. Tim Barrett
9. Nick Mileau
10. Joe Haley
11. Nathan Hirayama
12. TBA

Update on Abbotsford 7s: Partnership with Hunger Response International: Schedule of Events

posted July 15 2009

Canada's First Ever International Rugby Sevens entertainment and sport event has partnered with Hunger Response International (HRI).

The festival is comparable to the renowned annual San Diego Sevens event, and the entertainment component is highly unique, but there's more. Now, there's a partnership with the Hunger Response International's Rice Raiser Campaign.

A portion of the event's revenues will be donated to the HRI, and for every dollar raised, three are donated by the Canadian International Development Agency.

The famous Kenyan Sevens and West Indies teams will be arriving on July 19, and the event is preceded by a three day training camp, social functions, and coaching clinics.

Schedule of Events for Saturday July 25

Gates Open - 9am

Opening Ceremonies - 9:20am

Opening Speeches - 9:40am
(Mayor George Peary- City of Abbotsford)

Games Kick Off - 10am

Finals - 7:00pm

Awards Ceremony - 7:30pm

After Party at Cadet Hall - 8pm to 1am

Abbotsford 7s Starts on July 25th: 16 Teams from Kenya, West Indies, Canada, USA

[ed. comments below]
posted June 26 2009

I've had a few interesting discussions with infuential rugby people over the last few months, people like Karl Fix and Mark Slay and I'm getting the impression that there is a movement towards creating a national 7s circuit for the summer. 7s has a lot going for it as a summer sport. There has been a lot of discussion on a common season in Canada, which won't happen in XVs, but 7s rugby is a summer sport in BC so it fits in with the rest of Canada, one problem solved.

7s also takes less of a learning curve, a natural athlete will excel faster thereby giving a faster introduction to rugby to a broader base of athletes. Good for rugby in the long run.

Rugby 7s has a good chance of being accepted as an Olympic sport thereby releasing all sorts of financial and instrastructure support at the national and international level.

There are a lot of "clouds" amassing on the horizon that indicate there will be a deluge of success for 7s over the next few years. Our neighbours to the south have the iRB sanctioned San Diego 7s, we have nothing except regional tournaments. Enter the Abbotsford 7s this year. The organizers have made an effort to put on a high-end international tournament that features teams from Kenya, West Indies, Canada and USA. The level of competition should be very good. They've also added a festival feel to the event with entertainment as their press release states, "performances by the sensual ‘Queen of Samba’, guest appearance by the BC Lions Felions, hip-hoppin’ DJs--Bakumba, Mose, and Peter, rockin’ after-parties, and a family center with a bouncy castle, face painting, and games, compliment multicultural exhibitions, beer gardens, and an assortment of food vendors."

This event seems to be driven by non-rugby people with marketing smarts, which is why it will be so interesting to see if they can pull it off. If they do then maybe the formula can be duplicated across Canada for a common-season national 7s competition. BC Rugby News will be there to watch and observe.

We'll be running their banner on the front page for the next few weeks to get people focused on the event and hopefully build some momentum. Ten years from now when rugby 7s is in the Olympics and a national competition has been televised on TSN for years, you'll be able to nod knowingly and say, "I remember Abby in 09 where it all started, I was there..."

[Press Release from Abbotsford 7s organizers]
Canada’s First International Rugby Sevens

Entertainment and Sport Spectacular

Canada’s first ever made-in-Abbotsford Rugby Sevens event has just boosted its ‘wow’ factor by incorporating a theatrical slant and adding more sponsors to its roster of awe. Russell Brewing Company and Kukri Sports top the list.

President, Andrew Harris, immediately recognized the value of being a sponsor and is just “… thrilled to be the official beer of this incredible rugby 7’s tournament taking place in Abbotsford in July”. Russell Brewing is one of BC’s fastest growing breweries and renowned for its nicely-rounded secret brew and partnership with the BC Lions. Using only the highest quality grain, hops, and yeast combined with a highly specialized processing system, Russell has earned an impressive following.

Now add Kukri Sports, world supplier of team wear since 1999 for rugby, lacrosse, hockey, and netball, in addition to local partners, such as Super Save, Kitt Equipment, Apollo Athletic Club, Circle Graphics, United Rentals, and Globe Printers.

Pemberton Holmes
Real Estate Sales

Tom Woods' Listings
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Lionheart Sports