The Kenyan sevens squad celebrates winning the International Division in Abbotsford in 2009.

The Kenyan sevens squad celebrates winning the International Division in Abbotsford in 2009.

Rugby sevens event adds more international flavour

The Abbotsford Rugby Sevens tournament is growing by leaps and bounds heading into its third year.

The Abbotsford Rugby Sevens tournament is growing by leaps and bounds heading into its third year.In previous years, the event’s International Division had featured two teams from outside Canada and the United States. In 2009, sides from Kenya and the West Indies were in attendance. Last year’s event drew teams from Fiji and South Africa.Organizers recently unveiled the first 10 International Division entries for the 2011 edition, which runs July 23 at Exhibition Park, and five teams from outside Canada and the U.S. have already signed on.”We’re just floored by the demand,” said Summer Dhillon, media relations director for the event. “It’s really taking off.”Teams from abroad include Mexico; the British Army; the Fijian Ambassadors; Kenya Shujaa; and the New Zealand-based Tongan Ambassadors.Canada/U.S. entries include defending champion Valley High, the Canadian Maple Leafs, the Dog River Howlers, Burnaby Lake Lighthouse, and Old Puget Sound. Fijian superstar Waisale Serevi – widely considered the greatest rugby sevens player of all time – will be in attendance for the second straight year. He’ll serve as a coach for Old Puget Sound, “There’s such an international flavour to the event, and we’re a multicultural country, and people just love it,” Dhillon said.For more information, visit www.abbotsfordsevens.com.