Stage set for feast of sevens in January
- Pools and draw confirmed for National Sevens
- All Blacks Sevens Wider Training Group places on the line
- New Zealand Women’s Sevens squad to be finalised
The top seeds and pools have been confirmed for the Bayleys National Sevens as the most important year yet in sevens gets underway in January with a huge feast of the new Olympic sport.
Sixteen men’s teams and 10 women’s teams will again compete in the two day tournament which kicks off at Rotorua International Stadium on Saturday 16 January.
“This will be a very exciting year for sevens with the Olympics in Rio de Janiero just around the corner,” said New Zealand Rugby Chief Executive Steve Tew.
“There’s plenty at stake for all players with both national team coaches on the sidelines looking to finalise their squads for 2016.”
Up to four places in the All Blacks Sevens Wider Training Group will be confirmed by Coach Sir Gordon Tietjens after the National Sevens. New Zealand Women’s Sevens Coach Sean Horan will also finalise his 2016 squad.
“As we saw in Dubai and Cape Town, our men’s and women’s teams are facing much tougher competition these days,” said Tew.
“That’s no surprise with a rugby gold medal up for grabs at the Olympics for first time since 1924. But it really shows how important it is that we have a strong domestic competition so we can keeping building the depth and skills we need to continue to do well at the top level of the game.
“The good news is that the National Sevens, the regional qualifying tournaments and the Women’s Super Series, are all providing a fantastic pathway for our players to show off their skills and press for higher honours.”
Pools and draw confirmed
With regional qualifying tournaments completed and seedings confirmed, the pools have been announced for the National Sevens. In the men’s draw Auckland and Hawke’s Bay head their pools after winning the northern and central regional qualifying tournaments respectively on the weekend (insert link here). Counties Manukau, runners up to Auckland top Pool C while 2015 champions, Waikato, head Pool D.
On the women’s side of the draw, northern winner Counties Manukau heads Pool 1. Central winner and this year’s runner up, Manawatu, top Pool 2.
The full draw can be found here.
Organisers of the National Sevens are hoping locals and visitors take advantage of the chance to see some of the best sevens players in the country in action.
“It’s a fantastic opportunity for the Bay of Plenty and Rotorua community to get involved in an action packed weekend,” said Bay of Plenty Rugby Chief Executive Mike Rogers.
“Providing great sevens talent, and a fantastic family day out with food and entertainment for the kids; it certainly adds to Rotorua’s vibrancy over the holiday period not just for locals but visitors too.”
Key information: Bayleys National Sevens
Pool A: Auckland, Northland, Bay of Plenty, South Canterbury
Pool B: Hawke’s Bay, Otago, Wellington, Taranaki
Pool C: Counties Manukau, North Harbour, Wanganui, Mid Canterbury
Pool D: Waikato, Manawatu, Tasman, Canterbury
Pool 1: Counties Manukau, Waikato, Wellington, North Harbour, Otago
Pool 2: Manawatu, Auckland, Wairarapa Bush, Canterbury, Tasman
When: 16,17 January 2016
Where: Rotorua International Stadium
$5 Child under 15
Under 5 Free
Family Tickets $35 (2A and up to 3C)