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NZ development team to take part in Grand Prix event

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allblacks.com and James Mortimer     08 Jan 2013     Getty Images

The announcement, made last week, means that Limelight Networks (Nasdaq:LLNW), a global leader in digital presence management will implement the Grand Prix Studios Network (GPSN), which will broadcast the Grand Prix Rugby Sevens Championship online and in real time.

GPSN will team up with USA Rugby to deliver the event, part of rugby and sevens build up to their historic inclusion in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Summer Olympic Games.

New Zealand Rugby Union Chief Executive Steve Tew said the All Blacks Sevens would be excited about the opportunity, with the event scheduled to take place on July 14-16, 2013, in Los Angeles.

“We’re thrilled to be involved in the world's richest Sevens championship in history,” Tew said.

“It’s exciting to be on the ground floor of a tournament we think will be hugely beneficial for the development of the game worldwide, particularly in the USA.”

Tew said the event, which would not be part of the HSBC World Sevens Series where the All Blacks Sevens currently compete, was still to have all details nutted out.

“While there is still some detail to be worked through, we are working with Grand Prix Rugby and USA Rugby to ensure this Las Vegas tournament becomes a regular feature in the international Sevens calendar,” he said.

“Our plan is to send a development team which is likely to include some All Blacks Sevens players as well as some exciting new talent and we will be working closely with All Blacks Sevens coach Gordon Tietjens to ensure we send a competitive team.”

“We see this as a huge opportunity to deepen the pool of talent we have available so it certainly fits with our strategy of ensuring our men’s team will be in the best position to win gold in Rio in 2016,” he continued.

Twenty-four teams will play 60 games over three days for a world record purse of U.S. $1,000,000.

“This is a fabulous day for Grand Prix,” said William Tatham, Chairman and CEO of Grand Prix Entertainment.

“Working with Limelight Networks is the final piece in building a wholly-owned global digital network that provides world class sports and Hollywood entertainment to an existing worldwide audience. We’re excited that the Grand Prix Studios Network will come to fruition with Limelight.”