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Rugby in 2021 kicks off this weekend

Rugby in the lower North Island gets underway on Saturday, with two sevens tournaments and the Hurricanes in action for the first time in 2021.

The Hurricanes are involved in a ‘game of three halves’ against the Blues and Chiefs squads at Maidstone Park, Upper Hutt. Gates open at 10.30am and kick-off is at 12.00pm.

This fixture is their first warm-up for all three sides ahead of the opening of the Super Rugby competition, with the Hurricanes playing the Blues at home in their first round fixture at home in a fortnight. Next week the Hurricanes play the Highlanders in Alexandra.

The two sevens tournaments are at Massey University in Palmerston North and Central Park in Waipukarau.

The Manawatu Invitational 7s at Palmerston North features Men’s, Women’s and Colts teams.

The Men’s draw sees nine teams entered in two pools:

Pool  A: Kia Toa, Ngamatapouri, Freyberg Old Boys, Manawatu Fijians

Pool B: Palmy Steel, Feilding Yellows, Mohaka Brothers, Linton Army, South Auckland Fijians

The women’s pool sees three local clubs in action: Massey University, Kia Toa and Linton Army.

The Colts section features five teams representing three unions: Hutt Old Boys Marist, Whanganui Metro, Freyberg Old Boys, Feilding Yellows, Martinborough.

Play at Massey starts at 10am across three fields, with the three finals scheduled for 2.20pm, 2.45pm and 3.10pm respectively.

The annual Central 7s tournament at Waipukurau features a Men’s and three-team Colts draw.

The Men’s draw sees 17 teams entered:

Pool A: Havelock North, RA Barbarians, MAC, Waikato Barbarians

Pool B: Taradale, Napier Pirates 2, Rotorua Fijians Blue, Central

Pool C: Hastings Rugby & Sports, Rotorua Fijians Pink, Wellington Flyers, Hawke’s Bay Fijians White

Pool D: Auckland Nadi Blues, Hawke’s Bay Fijians Blue, Napier Pirates 1, Mohaka Bros, Napier Technical.

The Colts teams are: Lindisfarne College and the Clive and Taradale clubs.

All teams, pools and schedules in the two sevens tournaments above are subject to change

The Hurricanes team (s) for the ‘Game of Three Halves’ at Maidstone Park, Upper Hutt, from 12pm Saturday is/are:

Hurricanes to play the Chiefs: Ruben Love, Julian Savea (captain), Peter Umaga-Jensen, Raymond Nu’u, Salesi Rayasi, Orbyn Leger, Luke Campbell, Tyler Laubscher, Du’Plessis Kirifi, Tekamaka Howden, Caleb Delany, Scott Scrafton, Tevita Mafileo, James O’Reilly, Fraser Armstrong. Reserves: Tyrone Thompson, Ben Strang, Kyle Stewart, Joel Hintz, Ofa Tauatevalu, Keelan Whitman, Shamus Langton-Hurley, Cam Roigard, Aidan Morgan, Danny Toala, Lolagi Visinia.

Hurricanes to play the Blues: Lolagi Visinia, Wes Goosen, Billy Proctor, Danny Toala, Pepesana Patafilo, Jackson Garden-Bachop, Jonathan Taumateine, Brayden Iose, Zane Kapeli, Devan Flanders, Liam Mitchell, James Blackwell (captain), Alex Fidow, Ricky Riccitelli, Xavier Numia. Reserves: Tyrone Thompson, Ben Strang, Tevita Mafileo, Kyle Stewart, Joel Hintz, Ofa Tauatevalu, Keelan Whitman, Shamus Langton-Hurley, Cam Roigard, Aidan Morgan, Orbyn Leger, Raymond Nu’u.

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