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National Club Sevens at Porirua Park this Friday and Saturday (confirmed teams)

The country’s leading club sevens teams descend on Porirua Park at the end of this week to contest the annual National Club 7s tournament.

Local clubs, defending national champions and hosts Northern United, and recently crowned Wellington club sevens winners Hutt Old Boys Marist, will be joined by up to 14 clubs from around the country.

The clubs are set to challenge for the Middlesex County Wavell Wakefield Cup.

Confirmed teams – day one draw to come later Thursday or visit:

https://www.facebook.com/events/470570896976795/ 

  • Ardmore Marist (Counties Manukau)
  • Alhambra Union (Otago)
  • Feilding Yellows (Manawatu)
  • Havelock North (Hawke’s Bay)
  • Hutt Old Boys Marist (Wellington)
  • Kaitaia (Northland)
  • MAC (Hawke’s Bay)
  • Marist Albion (Canterbury)
  • Massey University (Manawatu)
  • Northern United (Wellington)
  • Oriental-Rongotai (Wellington)
  • Saracens (Canterbury)
  • Te Puna (Bay of Plenty)
  • Toa (Horowhenua-Kapiti)
  • Timaru Old Boys (South Canterbury)
  • Waihi Athletic (Thames Valley)

Can Northern United go back-to-back?

If so, they will be in rare company, with only Eden (2017 and 2018 winners) and Alhambra-Union (2008 and 2009) having successfully defended this title.

In their first tilt at this tournament last year, Norths ran off with the title by defeating 2013 champions and Auckland club Pakuranga 28-14 in the final with Junior Time Taotua (2), Johnny Teleaga and Esi Komaisavai crossing the chalk for their four converted tries in the final.

Norths had defeated Bay of Plenty’s Te Puna 12-7 in their semi-final, after opening day two up with a 14-7 quarter-final win over Counties Manukau’s Ardmore Marist.

Both Te Puna and Ardmore Marist return this year, but there are no Auckland clubs competing In 2020.

Te Puna are back-to-back BoP champions, while Ardmore Marist have been regular contenders at this tournament.

The inclusion of four South Island clubs is positive, with former winners the Alhambra-Union Broncos hoping to bring the title back to Dunedin for the first time in a decade and three Canterbury clubs in the mix including Marist Albion who provided four players to the Canterbury Sevens side in December.

Timaru Boys High School have been Condor 7s school tournament contenders in recent times, so expect a bevy of young talent in the Timaru Old Boys club side, while Saracens from Rangiora could be dark horses having won the Canterbury club sevens tournament late last year.

Both Manawatu teams, Feilding Yellows and Massey, will be stacked with representative players, as well as some familiar names for local supporters.

Two Hawke’s Bay clubs make the trip and all three will be dangerous. The Havelock North Villagers are regulars on the sevens circuit, while MAC are the form team from the east heading into this tournament, winning November’s annual NOBM 7s tournament.

Host club Norths are joined by the Hutt Old Boys Marist Eagles and Oriental-Rongotai as the three teams from Wellington hoping to keep the title in the region.

HOBM won November’s Wellington club sevens American Ambassador’s series, with Norths runners-up and Ories always dangerous and well supported.

Toa’s players will also sleep in their own beds on Friday night, nearby club Toa representing the Horowhenua-Kapiti union.

Some of the country’s well-known sevens players are expected to play this weekend, while the rules of the tournament also state that each team can field one invitational player and one school-aged player.

When this tournament was last held in Wellington in 2016, Waikato’s Melville won with the help of now All Black Sevu Reece who was stepping into senior rugby for the first time since leaving Hamilton Boys’ High School.

Teams are grouped in four pools on day one, with crossover and knockout games on Saturday, culminating in the final for the impressive Middlesex County Wavell Wakefield Cup.

Play kicks off on both days at 9.00am

Some of the country’s well-known sevens players are expected to play this weekend, while the rules of the tournament also state that each team can field one invitational player and one school-aged player.

When this tournament was last held in Wellington in 2016, Waikato’s Melville won with the help of now All Black Sevu Reece who was stepping into senior rugby for the first time since leaving Hamilton Boys’ High School.

Teams are grouped in four pools on day one, with crossover and knockout games on Saturday, culminating in the final for the impressive Middlesex County Wavell Wakefield Cup.

About the tournament

The Middlesex Cup sevens tournament was hosted by the Middlesex RFC at Twickenham each year from 1925. In 1949 the Middlesex Union offered cups in its name to the “Dominions of Colonies” and Middlesex Wavell Wakefield Cups were accepted by New Zealand, Australia and Rhodesia.

Brought to New Zealand by the manager of the British Lions, L.B. (Ginger) Osborne, in 1950, the tournament was started in Dunedin in 1951 and first won by local club Zingari-Richmond. It fell away in the 1990s and wasn’t contested for a decade up to its revival in 2006.

In 68 years of competition, it has been held by 28 individual winners – 11 from the North Island and 17 from the South Island. It had been held by South Island clubs continuously for more than three decades before Auckland’s Pakuranga won in 2013 to become the first North Island team to prevail since Hamilton Old Boys in 1976.

The previous 10 winners have been (not played for in 2012)

2009 Alhambra-Union (Dunedin)

2010 Otago University (Dunedin)

2011 Burnham (Canterbury)

2013 Pakuranga (Auckland)

2014 Rangataua (Bay of Plenty)

2015: Wainuiomata (Wellington)

2016: Melville (Waikato)

2017: Eden (Auckland)

2018: Eden (Auckland)

2019: Northern United (Wellington)

 

 

 

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