THE on-again, off-again women’s tournament at this year’s Queanbeyan Sevens is now back on after a late surge in entries.
The Queanbeyan Age reported last week that the previously popular women’s tournament had been cancelled after just four teams nominated.
But event organiser Phil Hawke said the media coverage had helped to trigger a rush of last-minute interest in next month’s competition.
“I’d contacted the original four teams that had entered and they were all pretty disappointed it had been called off,” Hawke said.
“So I think a couple of them must have rung around a couple of other teams. That night and the next day the phone just kept ringing with teams saying they wanted to enter.
“[The article] was the jolt that was needed and now we have [women’s] Sevens that includes Navy, Rockdale, Penrith, Jindabyne and Southern Inland. It is a significant regional competition.”
The 10-team women’s competition will also include ACT and NSW Barbarians sides and a NSW Suburban representative outfit.
And the men’s side of the draw has also received a late boost with a number of late entries taking that tournament to a full complement of 16 teams.
The healthy team numbers is now largely in line with last year’s event.
That’s despite organisers being forced to move the event forward a week due to ground resurfacing at Campese Field.
This year’s competition also clashes with the Crescent Head Rugby Sevens in Kempsey.
Given those difficulties, Hawke said he was “wrapped” with the final entry numbers which will ensure Queanbeyan remains one of the state’s premier Sevens tournaments.
“It’s always going to be a difficult time of the year to get things organised,” Hawke said.
“Most people have been off on holidays and holding a tournament at the start of February, you wouldn’t have thought many people would be back in training.
“Even though the invitation was sent out in November people tend to leave things till the last minute but they’re all quite keen now so it’s looking like it’ll be a great competition.”
The Queanbeyan Sevens will take place at Taylor Park and Seiffert Oval on February 8 ahead of a shortened John I Dent Cup competition which will get underway on April 4.