3 Aug 2012

Sport: Oceania 7s teams already eying Olympic dream

10:46 am on 3 August 2012

While a berth at next year's World Cup is at the forefront of their minds, many teams at the Oceania's Women's Sevens Championship are looking

even further into the future.

The top ranked team outside of Australia and New Zealand at this weekend's tournament will progress to the final stage of World Cup qualifying in October.

Tonga's coach Eva Mafi says that's definately their primary goal but admits the prospect of making it to the Rio Olympics in 2016 is also burning away.

"There's still an option for us to still build up because we are looking beyond that one. We are looking forward for the Olympics in 2016 and that's what we are planning. After that we are planning for the major tournaments in the future. First option is trying to be qualified but if there is no chance we are looking forward to build up because there's other opportunities."

Fiji coach Elenoa Kunatuba admits they don't know too much about their opponents on day one but she's backing the team's experience to get their campaign off to a strong start.

The Fijiana team finished in third place at the last Oceania tournament four years ago, and missed out on a place at the 2009 World Cup.

Elenoa Kunatuba says her team is in a good space.

We have the core of the team that won the gold medal last year from the Pacific Games and probably just two to three new players in the team so really it's a quite experienced side but in terms of exposure not that really because our last outing was in the South Pacific Games.

Fiji's first match is against Cook Islands while Samoa and Papua New Guinea will open the tournament.