“We are honoured to travel to Fiji for the first time as we look ahead to the Olympic Games,” said Manu Wilhelm, Technical Director of the DRV, the German Rugby Federation. “Fiji is the spiritual home of rugby sevens and their national team is the world champions so we are looking forward to the opportunity to learn from the best in what will be a challenging tournament.
“We have had a successful 2015, finishing fourth equal in Europe with Russia (behind France, Spain and England) and qualifying for the final Olympic repechage as well as the World Sevens Series qualifier in Hong Kong next year.
“The Coral Coast Sevens – along with the Central Coast Sevens in Australia later this month – will be a crucial part of the build up to both of those events.”
Germany, currently en route to Australia, finished runners up in the European Olympic qualifier, reached the semi-finals of the European Sevens Grand Prix Series tournaments in both Lyon and Exeter and recorded wins over core sides Russia and Portugal during the northern hemisphere summer.
The side also made the final of Scotland's famous Melrose Sevens in April, losing to Glasgow Warriors featuring Fijian Nikola Matawalu.
“Rugby is still a minority sport in Germany but is making headway and our players are gaining more international experience all the time,” added Wilhelm. “Sevens suits the way the Germans like to play, it's a bit more open and allows us to throw the ball around.
“With sevens being in the Olympic Games we now receive Government funding and our goal is to compete in 2020 at Tokyo. Plus with Germany bidding to host the Olympics in 2024, we’d definitely want to see a national sevens team playing if we were the host nation.”
“We are delighted to add Germany as a guest team in the Bayleys Fiji Coral Coast Sevens 2016,” said Founding Chairman Jay Whyte. “Playing against the likes of defending champions Police, Samoan Independence Sevens champions Tabadamu and local tournament winners Uluinakau and Yamacia Red, as well as a number of sponsor teams, will be fantastic experience for Germany.”
The sixth Bayleys Fiji Coral Coast Sevens features 16 men’s and 16 women’s teams at Lawaqa Park on 14-16 January 2016.
Other men’s teams include the winners of the UON Central Coast Sevens (October 24-25) and the Wardens and Westfield Barbarians qualifying series tournaments to be held in Fiji next month.
The women’s teams will be announced in due course.