Thursday, December 13, 2018
The best of New Zealand’s sevens talent is descending on Tauranga with the TECT National Sevens promising an action-packed weekend of rugby.
16 men’s teams and 12 women’s teams will take the field in the two-day tournament which kicks off at Tauranga Domain on Saturday 15 December.
National honours will be on the line along with places in the All Blacks Sevens and Black Ferns Sevens developments camps to be held in the New Year.
New Zealand Rugby High Performance Sevens Manager Tony Philp said the TECT National Sevens is a crucial piece of the high performance talent identification process.
“It was only 12 months ago that we saw players like Ngarohi McGarvey-Black and Akuila Rokolisoa really put their hand up at Nationals, and both have gone on to be part of a historic year with the All Blacks Sevens.
“A good performance this weekend could see players selected for the development camps, which is a proven pathway into our national teams, so it should be an exciting prospect for everyone taking the field this weekend,” said Philp.
It’s not only emerging talent taking the field, Black Ferns Sevens’ Sarah Goss and All Blacks Sevens’ Joe Ravouvou will suit up for their provinces, both received the UL Mark of Excellence awards for Player of the Tournament at July’s Rugby World Cup Sevens.
Pools and draw confirmed
There is no such thing as an easy pool and that is certainly the case at the TECT National Sevens with strong teams spread across the four men’s and three women’s pools.
The 45th winner of the men’s national title will be crowned on Sunday with defending champion Waikato and perennial performers Counties Manukau among the favourites.
Defending men’s champions, Waikato will come up against the tournament’s most successful team, Auckland in pool play, while last tournament’s semi-finalists Wellington and Tasman are both in Pool C.
Hosts Bay of Plenty, are searching for their first title and will come up against Taranaki, Canterbury and Hawke’s Bay on Day One, while 2016 and 2017 champions Counties Manukau head Pool A after a dominant performance at their regional qualifiers.
In the women’s draw Manawatu will be looking for their fifth title after their dramatic 17-15 win over Waikato at the last Nationals. They are in Pool B alongside 2017 winners Counties Manukau.
Auckland and Canterbury won their respective qualifying events and will meet in Pool A while hosts Bay of Plenty will face a tough pool assignment against Waikato.
The full draw can be found here
Organisers of the 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.
Bay of Plenty Rugby Chief Executive Mike Rogers said the Union is excited to host the TECT National Sevens in Tauranga this weekend.
“We are looking forward to hosting the TECT National Sevens at the Tauranga Domain this year. There is a buzz around the city with the move to a new time and new venue. We can’t wait to provide our local community with an abundance of quality rugby sevens action. The quality and skill we will see along some great provincial rivalries will have any rugby fan of the edge of their seats. Plus the festive atmosphere, with markets and kids entertainment it has something for the whole Whanau to be a part of.
“The TECT National Sevens is a fantastic event to be involved with and we are exceptionally grateful for the valuable support we receive from our partners, TECT, Farmer Autovillage, Tauranga City Council North and South Trust and NZCT to ensure the tournament is a success,” said Rogers.
Pool A: Counties Manukau, Manawatu, North Harbour, Wairarapa Bush
Pool B: Waikato, Auckland, Otago, Southland
Pool C: Wellington, Tasman, Northland, South Canterbury
Pool D: Hawke’s Bay, Bay of Plenty, Taranaki, Canterbury
Pool A: Auckland, Canterbury, Otago, Taranaki
Pool B: Manawatu, Counties Manukau, Wellington, North Harbour
Pool C: Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Hawke’s Bay, Tasman