Back in Emerald: Rugby sevens returns to Central Queensland

FOLLOWING the international rugby seven series at the weekend, the rugby sevens action is coming to Emerald's backyard, with Emerald State High School hosting the Western Sevens competition on October 26-28.

Queensland Reds Central Queensland regional development manager Daniel Hooper said about 50 teams had signed up.

The numbers are up from last year, as 37 teams played in 2011. Hooper said interest in the competition had really taken off since last year's carnival.

"It's great to have that many teams," he said.

Teams will be coming from around the region as well as Mackay, Townsville and Wide Bay.

A range of age groups for combined boys and girls teams will play throughout the three-day carnival, with the finals and presentations to take place on Sunday.

Teams will be taking a leaf from Fiji's campaign book after the side took out the international rugby sevens series on the Gold Coast.

A hat-trick to Ratu Raitini helped steer the defending Gold Coast champions to a 32-14 victory over New Zealand in the final.

Australia's good run in the series ended in the quarter-finals with an upset 21-14 loss to Kenya.

The Aussies had gone into the match with a three-from-three winning streak, which included a 15-14 win against Fiji.

It didn't get any better for the Aussies after their quarter-final defeat, when they went down to Argentina 17-14 in the semi-final and got eliminated from the series.

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