New sevens series to showcase best of Womens Sevens Rugby

Oct 24 • General News, Sevens Rugby • 1540 Views • Comments Off on New sevens series to showcase best of Womens Sevens Rugby

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Some of New Zealand’s best rugby sevens talent will be on show in Taupo next week as an exciting new women’s sevens competition gets off the ground.

New Zealand Rugby’s inaugural Women’s Sevens Series featuring rugby sevens teams selected from regions around New Zealand will see the teams competing in the four-day Series to be played over two weekends.

All the action takes place on Saturday/Sunday 1 and 2 November, and Saturday/Sunday 15 and 16 November at Taupo’s Owen Delaney Park. The playoffs and Final will be played on Sunday 16 November.

New Zealand Rugby General Manager Rugby Neil Sorensen said the Women’s Sevens Series will provide players with a precious opportunity to step up from the Provincial Unions’-based National Sevens competition played every January.

“While interest from young women is growing in rugby sevens, they’re limited to playing in school competitions, the provincial and National Sevens competitions and playing 15s in the Women’s Provincial Championship. The new Series gives players a chance to develop through valuable game-time, and it gives us a chance to see how the best of the provincial talent performs.”

The teams representing the five different regions will be known as:

Northern Kauri (North of the North Island)
Central Pohutakawa (central North Island)
Lower North Kowhai (lower North Island)
Upper South Manuka (Upper South Island)
Southern Ti Kouka (Southern South Island)

The teams will play each other in the first weekend, but will be joined for the second weekend of the Series by invitation teams from Bay of Plenty, Waikato and a Taupo-Nui team made up of Taupo and Taumarunui High School players.

New Zealand Women’s Sevens Coach Sean Horan welcomed the Series as the ideal way to build and strengthen women’s sevens rugby.

“I’m really excited about this competition as it gives us a really valuable opportunity to broaden the talent pool in women’s sevens rugby and will be the ideal platform for players to push for selection into the National Women’s Sevens squad.

“With our focus firmly set on the Olympics in Rio in 2016, women’s sevens in New Zealand has had a remarkable growth in the last couple of years.

“Through our Go-for-Gold recruitment programme we have identified and developed some outstanding athletes, some of whom have now won the IRB’s very first Women’s Sevens World Series, and the Sevens Rugby World Cup.

“As expected we are seeing other countries catch up as they too focus on Rio and the opportunities to win gold in rugby sevens.

“This Women’s Sevens Series will help us with our desire to stay competitive and strong on the international stage by building depth, talent and experience.

“For all the athletes playing in the Series, they will know they are vying for a shot to play in a black jersey. More and more players are realising that New Zealand’s Womens Sevens selection is within reach, and that’s creating great competition for places. That’s exactly what we need as we head into the start of the 2014/2015 Women’s Sevens World Series.”

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