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Historic Agreement Signed Between FORU and ONOC to Grow Rugby in Oceania Underline 19 April, 2011
IRB Chairman Bernard Lapasset, ONOC Vice President Barry Maister and FORU President Tauiliili Harry Schuster at the historic MOU signing.
The Federation of Oceania Rugby Unions (FORU) and the Oceania National Olympic Committees (ONOC) have signed an historic Memorandum of Understanding. 

The agreement will see the two organisations work together to jointly foster Rugby throughout the Region and assist the integration of Member Unions into the Olympic family. 

Signed at the FORU Annual General Meeting in New Zealand last Friday, the agreement represents a further boost to the sport ahead of Rugby Sevens’ Olympic Games debut in 2016. 

“This landmark agreement is an exciting step in the development of the Game that will deliver significant opportunities for Member Unions in Oceania as we count down to Rugby Sevens’ Olympic Games debut in Rio de Janeiro in 2016,” said IRB Chairman Bernard Lapasset in Wellington. 

“Rugby is now the sport of choice for more men, women, boys and girls across Oceania than ever before. This growth is mirrored around the globe, with participation increasing by 19% since Rugby World Cup 2007 and the Game now played by more than five million people in 117 countries.” 

“What’s more the world’s largest sporting event this year, Rugby World Cup 2011, will kick off in New Zealand in less than five months time, providing a fantastic opportunity to showcase and celebrate Rugby in Oceania.” 

IOC Member and ONOC Vice President Barry Maister attended the FORU Annual General Meeting to sign the agreement and address the Unions. 

“There is genuine excitement in the region that Rugby Sevens has been included on the Olympic Programme for 2016 and 2020,” said Maister. 

“It is important that this excitement is harnessed and that the Rugby Unions work in partnership with the National Olympic Committees in each country to not only prepare for Olympic qualification but to grow the sport more broadly.” 

Oceania has an outstanding record of success in Rugby Sevens and the inclusion of Rugby Sevens as an Olympic Sport is generating great excitement in the Oceania Rugby community.
Australia are the current Women’s Rugby Sevens World Cup champions, while Samoa are the defending HSBC Sevens World Series champions. 

For the Pacific Islands Olympic inclusion presents a considerable opportunity to showcase their country on the world’s biggest sporting stage and a genuine medal prospect for Fiji, Samoa and Tonga.

The Pacific Islands have won just one medal in Olympic competition to date with Tongan boxer Paea Wolfgramm winning the Super Heavyweight Silver medal at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, USA. 

“We are most grateful to ONOC and the ONOC Executive for the warmth with which they have welcomed us into the Olympic family,” said Tauiliili Harry Schuster, FORU President and IRB Council Member.

“This Memorandum of Understanding is so important to us and we are looking forward to helping our Member Unions integrate into the Olympic Movement. This is new ground for us and we are committed to Rugby being an enthusiastic and active member of the Olympic family.” 

Article courtesy of irb.com.
Other April 2011 News Underline
All Blacks v Flying Fijians Test confirmed 29 April, 2011 
Fiji U20 squad named 29 April, 2011 
Fijian players prominent as French season nears end 28 April, 2011 
Fraser Talk: Unshackled 28 April, 2011 
Fiji faces Samoa in Scotland 27 April, 2011 
Male appointed Fiji U20 Coach 27 April, 2011 
Fiji Rugby to host IRB Pacific Nations Cup 2011 26 April, 2011 
Fiji Rugby thrilled to host PNC 26 April, 2011 
Lee Smith's Coaching Corner: The Development of Attacking Play 26 April, 2011 
Fraser Talk: Sunny Skies up North 22 April, 2011 
Fiji Rugby's Kaji Camp 21 April, 2011 
Fiji women prepare for Pacific Games 20 April, 2011 
A Fistful of Rugby Dollars 20 April, 2011 
Player banned for 6 months 20 April, 2011 
Historic Agreement Signed Between FORU and ONOC to Grow Rugby in Oceania 19 April, 2011 
Lee Smith's Coaching Corner: Emerging trends in 7s rugby 19 April, 2011 
Latest Vacancies at Fiji Rugby 18 April, 2011 
Digicel Cup Rd 7 Results 17 April, 2011 
2011 Digicel Cup Rd 7 Tables 17 April, 2011 
Digicel Cup Rd 7 Team Lists 15 April, 2011 
Board removes Tanivula as Digicel Fiji 7s coach 15 April, 2011 
Port Elizabeth Exciting New Host of South Africa Sevens 14 April, 2011 
Sri Lanka Restored to Full IRB Member Union Status 14 April, 2011 
Rugby World Cup 2011 to Showcase 3D Technology 14 April, 2011 
The Search for Silverware 14 April, 2011 
Fraser Talk: Collaboration 13 April, 2011 
Pools and Matches set for London Sevens 13 April, 2011 
Gold Coast to kick off new HSBC Sevens World Series 13 April, 2011 
Tikoisuva appointed Flying Fijians RWC manager 11 April, 2011 
Digicel Cup Rd 6 Tables 10 April, 2011 
Digicel Cup Rd 6 Results 10 April, 2011 
Digicel Cup - Nadroga thrash Suva 32-10 09 April, 2011 
Fraser Talk: Burn the Ships 09 April, 2011 
A French countdown 07 April, 2011 
Savou gets Harrow Scholarship offer 07 April, 2011 
Digicel Cup Rd 6 Team Lists 07 April, 2011 
Major Independent Report Highlights Rugby Participation Growth in Emerging Markets 06 April, 2011 
Fraser Talk: Preparing to be the best 06 April, 2011 
FBCL extends partnership with Fiji Rugby 06 April, 2011 
New Zealand win Adelaide Sevens to stretch World Series lead 05 April, 2011 
RWC Preview - the Group of Death 03 April, 2011 
Digicel Cup Rd 5 Results 03 April, 2011 
2011 Digicel Cup Rd 5 Tables 03 April, 2011 
Digicel Cup - Rewa stun Nadroga 27-29 02 April, 2011 
Digicel Cup Rd 5 Team Lists 01 April, 2011 
CFL re-commits to Fiji Rugby 01 April, 2011 
Digicel Cup - Northland defeats Tailevu 27-18 01 April, 2011 
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