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9th Annual Hawaii International Rugby 7s, 2017

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Source: Hawaii Pacific Rugby Federation media release

Hawaii Pacific Rugby Federation is proud to announce the 9th Annual,  Hawaii International Rugby 7s (HIRS) tournament, to be held at Kapiolani Park, on Friday and Saturday (December 15 & 16) this week.  Kickoff will start at 9:30AM on both days.  HIRS is the only Rugby 7s tournament of its kind for the Open Division for men and women in Hawaii.  The 2013 Tournament will be played at Kapiolani Rugby Field Park nestled between world-renowned Waikiki Beach and Hawaii's famous landmark, Diamond Head crater.

Ten teams from the USA, Australia, New Zealand and other island nations around the Pacific will be vying for the 2017 Hawaii Cup.  Hawaii International Rugby Sevens is the oldest and largest running rugby tournament in Hawaii for international teams.   Teams from around the Pacific will again compete to unseat the current reigning, HIRS champion, Titans Rugby Team.   According to the founder Daniel Sataraka, the tournament was created to help develop rugby in Hawaii for future professional rugby players and aspiring college scholar athletes in rugby.  He added “More Pacific island rugby players now make a living in rugby than in the US National Football League and soccer combined”.   The emerging and ever increasing opportunities in rugby scholarships led by Ivy schools in the US  is phenomenal.  the era of professional rugby has arrived, and this type of tournament will undoubtedly provide great opportunities for Pacific rugby players. 

According to president Saga Mafi, “She is proud to be part of an event not only attracting tourists to Hawaii but it provides an avenue for our youth to display their skills for college scholarship opportunities”.    Saga Mafi, is the first woman  to head an Open Division international Rugby 7s tournament in the USA.  The Hawaii International Rugby 7s tournament’s Director is MacKay Schwenke, one of the most respected rugby officials in USA and the Pacific.  Mr. Schwenke hailed from New Zealand, the home of the greatest rugby team in the world, and the reigning world champion, the All Blacks.  A Brigham Young University graduate, he is a certified World Rugby referee, an educator and has been running rugby clinics in the USA in the past 35 years.  

Rugby is the second largest spectator sport in the world after soccer, and emerging as a fast growing and most popular sport in the US. An estimated 4 billion viewers worldwide in over 100 countries watched the recent 2015 Rugby World Cup held in New Zealand. 

The Hawaii International Rugby Sevens Tournament will observe the rules utilized in the current World Rugby HSBS 7s World Series. A team of World Rugby/IRB-USA Rugby certified referees will officiate the tournament.