Sevens players from around the country will be vying for selection into the All Blacks Sevens and Black Ferns Sevens when the country’s top sevens team gather in Rotorua for the Bayleys National Sevens tournament in early January next year.
Players will have the chance to impress new All Blacks Sevens Head Coach Clark Laidlaw, who will be travelling from the UK to attend the event, and Black Ferns Sevens Head Coach Allan Bunting who will both be naming their squads for the 2016-2017 HSBC World Sevens Series after the tournament.
“There’s plenty at stake for players with both national team coaches on the sidelines looking to bring new talent into their squads as they start to build their teams for the Commonwealth Games in 2018 and the Tokyo Olympics in 2020,” said New Zealand Rugby General Manager Rugby Neil Sorensen.
“There are a number of contracted spots still available for the All Blacks Sevens and the Black Ferns Sevens. The Bayleys Nationals is an opportunity for players to put their hand up to be considered for national teams.
“Following the silver medal success of the Black Ferns Sevens at Rio we have seen a good growth in the women’s game, leading to an expansion of the women’s tournament with 12 teams playing this year.
“Now that sevens has a global audience as an Olympics sport the competition internationally is heating up. Fortunately, we have great depth of talent, as seen in the three Regional sevens tournaments, and the Nationals promise to be a great display of sevens rugby,” Sorensen said.
Pools and draw confirmed
With regional qualifying tournaments completed and seedings confirmed, the pools have been announced for the Bayleys National Sevens.
In the men’s draw Waikato is the top seed and leads pool A and Northland heads pool B after winning and coming runner up respectively in the Northern Region qualifying tournament. Bay of Plenty leads pool C, and Central Region winners Wellington head pool D.
On the women’s side of the draw, central winner Manawatu is seeded first and heads pool A, Wellington tops pool B and Counties Manakau leads pool C.
Organisers of the Bayleys National Sevens are encouraging Bay of Plenty locals and summer visitors to take advantage of the chance to see some of the best sevens players in the country in action.
“The Bayleys National Sevens Tournament will be a fantastic event for Bay of Plenty and Rotorua locals and holiday makers to get along to. It promises to be a fun packed weekend with some of the best sevens rugby in the world on display,” said Bay of Plenty Rugby Chief Executive Mike Rogers.
“The sevens adds to Rotorua’s vibrancy over the holiday period and will be a highlight of the summer events calendar, and at only $35 for a family of five to attend it is great value for money entertainment.
“The tournament is not only for rugby enthusiasts, it’s a great family day out with food and entertainment for the kids; what better way to spend a weekend”
Key information: Bayleys National Sevens
Pool A: Waikato, Hawkes Bay, North Harbour, Southland
Pool B: Northland, Counties Manukau, Manawatu, South Canterbury
Pool C: Bay of Plenty, Taranaki, Tasman, Canterbury
Pool D: Wellington, Auckland, Otago, Horowhenua Kapiti
Pool A: Manawatu, Waikato, Otago, North Harbour
Pool B: Wellington, Bay of Plenty, Auckland, Hawkes Bay
Pool B: Counties Manukau, Canterbury, Tasman, Taranaki
When: 14-15 January 2017
Where: Rotorua International Stadium
$15 Adult, $5 Child under 15, Under 5 Free, Family Tickets $35 (2A and up to 3C)
Watch: Live on SKY Sport 2