Coast tournament provides super start
THE rugby union season fires up with the start of the Super 14s this week but that won't be the only union action going on.
The Palm Beach Currumbin Rugby Union Club will host the second annual Currumbin 10s tournament this weekend at Bienvenue Drive, Currumbin Waters.
The competition has grown from 16 teams in its inagural staging to comprise 20 sides this year, including two teams from Sydney club Gordon.
An indigenous side from the NSW North Coast, a North Coast representative team and sides from the Gold Coast including Bond Uni, Nerang, Surfers Paradise and Eagles have also nominated for the $10,000 carnival.
Brisbane Premier rugby sides including defending champions Wests and teams from Toowoomba and Caboolture will also compete.
The 10-a-side format guarantees some expansive, running rugby, with the round robin series starting on Saturday from 10am (NSW).
The final will be staged on Sunday.
Meanwhile, the Western Force will limp into their Super 14 season opener against the Blues at Subiaco Oval tomorrow night after several players were cut down by injury.
Josh Valentine (hamstring) has been ruled out of the match along with fellow halfback Justin Turner (back), marquee front row recruit Ben Castle (neck) and centre Junior Pelesasa (hamstring).
Scott Staniforth (knee) and Sam Wykes (shoulder) are others unavailable after picking up injuries during the off-season.
Chris O'Young, who has only just recovered from his own hamstring injury, will shoulder the halfback job with star flyhalf Matt Giteau likely to switch to the role should O'Young not make it through the match.
Turner would have been O'Young's back-up but the 18-year-old hurt his back in the Force's trial match against the Queensland Reds last week.
The Brumbies will launch their campaign against the Highlanders in Dunedin tomorrow night.