Rugby Union: Samoans provide exotic fare but Gaytonians have recipe

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RUGBY may be entering the dry season but a few beers will be downed before the summer recess during today's Middlesex Sevens at Twickenham, where there is also the promise of blood, sweat and tears in the attempt to steal Western Samoa's thunder.

The Samoans are the holders and favourites here and there is news from home on the secret of their success. Tofilau Eti, the Samoan Prime Minister, says touring parties have looked closely at Samoan rugby and decided that, aside from sheer persistence, the local diet of taro root, bananas, coconut cream and fish was the key.

His message may have arrived a little too late for Old Gaytonians, first to face the fierce-tackling winners of the Hong Kong Sevens. Just relegated from the London First Division, Gaytonians' understanding of foreign food may stretch no further than a Saturday night curry, but then there is no shortage of courage when it comes to meeting the taro-eaters.

'We are delighted to be playing one of the top sevens in the world at HQ,' Peter Pinfield, the club's chairman, said. 'We have discussed tactics. One: Let them kick off. Two: We score. Three: They have to kick off again . . .repeat as necessary. Four: Review tactics at half-time.' Sounds simple - and good luck to them and any others who take on the Samoans.

MIDDLESEX SEVENS (Twickenham) Sixth Round: London Scottish v Blackheath (11.30); Richmond v Northampton (11.50); Gloucester v Saracens (12.10); Reading v Harlequins (12.30); Wellington, NZ v Rosslyn Park (12.50); Wasps v Basingstoke (1.10); Orrell v London Irish (1.30); Old Gaytonians v Western Samoa (1.50). Final: 6.30.