BNZ announces sponsorship of Condor Sevens     17 Mar 2011    

Now known as the BNZ Condor Sevens, the tournament features a series of 14 regional qualifiers held around New Zealand with over 100 secondary school teams playing for a place in the national final to be held on Sunday 4th December at the College Rifles Rugby Football Club in Auckland.

The first of these qualifiers was held last week in Moerewa in Northland where Whangarei Boys’ High School booked their place in the final with a 22-5 win over Kamo High School.

BNZ, through its sponsorship of the Investec Super Rugby competition, is a proud supporter of New Zealand rugby and sees this new sponsorship as a continuation of its support for New Zealand communities and the role sport plays in our society.

Stephen Mockett, Chief Operating Officer, said “with the BNZ Condor Sevens, we’re getting behind more than just rugby, we’re backing local communities right across the country.”

First held in 1986, the Condor Sevens has grown to become a true national championship that has turned out some of the country’s finest rugby talent, including the likes of Jonah Lomu (Wesley College) and recently Declan O’Donnell (Hamilton Boys’ High School).

“Declan O’Donnell is the latest example of a young player's career being launched through Rugby Sevens as he made the New Zealand team two years after he starred at the Condor Sevens for Hamilton Boys’ High School in 2008,” said New Zealand Sevens coach Gordon Tietjens.

“The BNZ Condor Sevens will accelerate young players, men and women, into the Olympic Games now that Rugby Sevens has been added to the programme,” added Tietjens. “Many of those Olympians are in our schools today.”

Hamilton BHS, featuring O’Donnell and his brother Kylem, won the tournament 10-5 over Mount Albert Grammar School from Auckland in 2008. MAGS claimed the title a year later, defeating Wesley College 12-5, while Kelston Boys’ High School (Auckland) are the defending Condor Sevens champions having defeated MAGS 26-17 in the final last year.

BNZ Condor Sevens facts

· 14 regional qualifying tournaments beginning in March

· Over 100 secondary schools competing

· 16 finalists to take part in a national tournament to be held in December

· Official website