Round 3 Wellington

With rugby stars from all over the world competing – this is the event you don’t want to miss!

About The Tournament

There’s only one place where Pocahontas and a bunch of grapes will jump for joy as a Kenyan scores a runaway try. Will you be there to see it all?

Catch some of the most exciting talent in world rugby in one stadium, on one weekend, as HSBC Wellington Sevens heats up the capital

The HSBC Wellington Sevens, third on the Sevens World Series, will see 16 of the world’s top Sevens rugby nations battle it out at Westpac Stadium

Fans will be treated to world-class rugby and all day entertainment, with revamped fan zones that will have live performances, chill out areas and DJ’s to get the crowd pumped. Avoid the fear of missing out and get down to the stadium from 11am to bust out your dance moves, win prizes and cheer on our boys in black as they defend their title.

Bring the family and soak up the atmosphere on and off the field. Enjoy close to the action on-field seating area where kids can interact with players, entertainment such as face painting, a safe, themed concourse space with Family Zone dedicated bathrooms, a technology suite, and kids eat free with pre-set food pack. Kids tickets just $7*

Stay for a little of stay for a lot – there’s a HSBC Wellington Sevens experience for everyone.

The Wellington Sevens or New Zealand Sevens is an annual rugby sevens tournament held at Westpac Stadium in Wellington, New Zealand. The tournament is the fourth on the Sevens World Series circuit, and is generally held on the first weekend of February on the weekend following the USA Sevens tournament. The Wellington Sevens includes teams from 16 countries.

The event attracts over 30,000 spectators annually. The tournament has become Wellington’s largest sporting event, and one of New Zealand’s leading sporting events.

It also has a reputation for a party atmosphere, with a large proportion of attendees choosing to wear fancy dress. Recent years have seen large groups of costumes that vary from Fred Flintstone and Wilma to Care Bears, dance troops, wrestlers and many other interesting costumes. More recently items of recent media interest or advertisements form a key theme. Saddam Hussein, Osama Bin Laden, George Bush have made appearances. Movie figures such as Men in Black (MIB) and Austin Powers are crowd favorites and an impersonator of Austin has been a regular feature each year performing to the crowd.

In 2009 Air New Zealand, one of the major sponsors for the Wellington sevens, introduced a ‘Beads for Kisses’ ambient media campaign as a yearly sevens ritual. Over 100,000 strings of Mardi gras style beads were given to the crowd, who could then exchange the beads for kisses from other participants. This was followed in 2010 with the addition of kissing booths.

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Standings after Cape Town Tournament click Here

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It is Sevens Rugby again this weekend and this time we move the party to Wellington New Zealand for the third tournament this season and teh Springboks in a good position after two rounds that was played last year.

The New Zealand leg is again being hosted in Wellington at the Westpac Stadium which can take 34500 people.

The pools are a tough one for South Africa who has Fiji and Australia in their pool.

Here is a bit more on the players that will represent the BlitzBoks this weekend in New Zealand.

Chris Dry

Physical: 1.91m & 95kg, DOB: 13/02/1988, Cape Town

Education: Grey Primary, Grey College (Bloemfontein), Central University of Technology (CUT), Bloemfontein.

Other Squads: Free State (Schools Academy, Under-19, Under-21, Vodacom Cup, Absa Currie Cup)

Tournaments: 54 – debut Adelaide 2010; 380 points (76 tries)

Dry will be one of the core players for Coach Neil Powell in this series. A very mobile and strong player, Dry brings physicality, line-out skills and grunt to the team. His experience and leadership will be an added bonus. The third most capped player in South African sevens history.

Philip Snyman (captain)

Physical: 1.88m & 96kg, DOB: 26/04/1987, Bloemfontein

Education: Grey College Primary, Grey College Bloemfontein, University of Free State

Other Squads: Free State (Coca-Cola Craven Week Schools, Under-19, Under-21, Vodacom Cup, Absa Currie Cup); Griffons Absa Currie Cup; Toyota Cheetahs Super Rugby.

Tournaments: 39; Debut – Dubai 2009, 236 points (39 tries, 15 conversions). Also RWC7s Dubai 2009, Olympic Games 2016 (bronze medal)

Snyman’s decision to forfeit a career playing Vodacom Super Rugby to play sevens has reaped huge benefits. He has become a very important squad member due to his versatility and is equally adapt playing in the forwards or backs. He can also kick at the poles as well when needed. Named captain of the side for the 2016/17 season.

Dylan Sage

Physical: 1.88m & 97kg, DOB: 24/01/1992, Cape Town

Education: Wynberg Boys High Junior, Wynberg Boys High, Varsity College

Other squads: UCT (FNB Varsity Cup), DHL Western Province Under-21; SARU Sevens Academy; Olympic Games 2016 (bronze medal)

Tournaments: 9 – debut Cape Town 2015, 45 points (nine tries).

Sage played his way into the Springbok Sevens team via the SA Rugby Sevens Academy system. The winger/fullback first got noticed starring for the Ikeys Tigers in the FNB Varsity Cup, which led to an invite to trial with the SARU Sevens Academy side in Stellenbosch.

Sage made his debut at the HSBC Cape Town Sevens in 2015 and quickly established himself in the squad. He can easily adapt playing in the forwards or backs and was named as a forward for trip.

Kwagga Smith

Physical: 1.82m & 93 kg, DOB: 11/06/1993, Lydenburg

Education: Lydenburg Primary, HTS Middelburg

Other Squads: Team SA Commonwealth Games 2014; Pumas (Coca-Cola Craven Week), Xerox Golden Lions (Under-19, Under-21, Vodacom Cup, Absa Currie Cup), Junior Springboks 2013, Springboks Sevens Elite Development squad.

Tournaments: 26 – debut Port Elizabeth 2013, 255 points (51 tries). Also CWG Glasgow 2014 (gold medal); Olympic Games 2016 (bronze medal)

Equally adapt in fifteens, Smith enjoyed a Currie Cup title won with the Xerox Golden Lions in 2015 and also captained the team in 2016. The former Junior Springboks player has been massive in the Springbok Sevens jersey, where his work-rate, strong defence and forceful running caught the eye. It was no surprise that Smith made the HSBC World Series Dream Team in the last two season as he had numerous strong performances for the team.

Werner Kok

Physical: 1, 77m & 84kg, DOB: 17/01/1993, Nelspruit

Education: Nelspruit Primary, Nelspruit High School

Other Squads: Team SA Commonwealth Games 2014; Pumas Grant Khomo Under-16; Craven Week Under-18; DHL Western Province Under-19, DHL Western Province Currie Cup; SA Elite Player Development Sevens; Olympic Games 2016 (bronze medal)

Tournaments: 21, Debut – London 2013 (250 points, 50 tries)

Kok is another product of the SA Rugby Sevens Academy system. The World Player of the Year in 2015 suffered a setback in Dubai last year, injuring his knee and missing the rest of the series. He recovered well and was selected for the squad to the Olympic Games. He also played for DHL Western Province on the wing in 2016.

Kok is rated as the hardest player to train against by all his team mates.

Siviwe Soyizwapi

Physical: 1.78m & 88 kg, DOB: 07/12/1992, Mthatha

Education: Maclear Primary, Dale College

Other squads: Border Craven Week, SA u18 High Performance, EP Kings Vodacom Cup, Currie Cup, Southern Kings

Tournaments: 4 – debut Hong Kong 2016, 30 points (six tries)

Soyizwapi has been knocking on the door for a while now. He played in the SA Rugby Sevens Academy team at a number of tournaments where he showed a natural feel for the game, an eye for a gap and good speed. “Shakes” as he is called by team mates, has played Super Rugby for the Southern Kings in 2013 and is earmarked to take over the impressive try-scoring duties from Seabelo Senatla.

Branco du Preez

Physical: 1.66m & 75kg, DOB: 08/05/1990, George

Education: Van der Hoven Primary & PW Botha College (George), Harmony Sports Academy, Virginia, Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) Pretoria

Other Squads: Team SA Commonwealth Games 2014; Griffons (Coca-Cola Craven Week, Under-19); TUT (FNB Varsity Cup), Blue Bulls (Under-19, Under-21), South Africa (Under-20)

Tournaments: 47 – Debut – Wellington (2009/10), 922 points (72 tries, 279 conversions).

Dynamite comes in small packages and Du Preez certainly provides just that with his explosive pace and lightning breaks. His value as a reliable goal-kicker has helped the team immensely in recent seasons and it is no surprise that Du Preez is amongst the top-scorers for conversions kicks of all players in Wellington.

Rosko Specman

Physical: 1.72m & 79kg, DOB: 28/04/1989, Grahamstown

Education: Mary Waters HS, Grahamstown

Other Squads: KZN, Sharks XV Vodacom Cup; Steval Pumas Currie Cup; SA President’s XV 2013. Olympic Games 2016 (bronze medal)

Tournaments: 15 – debut – Las Vegas 2014; 196 points (34 tries, 13 conversions)

Specman is one of the most elusive runners in the game today. He has a wicked step and great pace, a lethal combination on attack. No wonder the former Cell C Sharks player was such a sensation on the wing for Steval Pumas and he was duly named Absa Currie Cup First Division Player of the Year in 2014.

Justin Geduld

Physical: 1.75m & 80kg, DOB: 01/10/1993, Cape Town

Education: Webner Primary, Tygerberg HS, Cape Town

Other Squads: Team SA Commonwealth Games 2014; DHL Western Province Schools Craven Week, Under-19, Under-21 and Absa Currie Cup; SA Under-20 JWC 2013 squad; Olympic Games 2016 (bronze medal)

Tournaments: 27; Debut – Wellington 2013; 594 points (66 tries, 132 conversions)

Geduld is one of the rising stars in the national game. Although of slender build, his deceptive pace and eye for a gap makes him a very difficult opponent. The young outside back also brings flair into the game. He also represented the Junior Springboks in the Junior World Championship in France in 2013 and was a stand-out for DHL Western Province in the domestic Absa Currie Cup competition before he turned his attention to become a full-time sevens professional.

Zain Davids

Physical: 1.81m & 101kg, DOB: 04/05/1997, Cape Town

Education: Fairview Primary, Rondebosch Boys’ High School

Other Squads: DHL Western Province Craven Week, WP Under-19. SA Schools, Junior Springboks.

Tournaments: 0 (on debut)

Debutant Zain Davids will take another step in what promises to be an exciting career to follow. The 19-year old played for the SA Rugby Sevens Academy side in the Dubai Invitational Sevens in December last year in his first experience of this code and showed good aptitude for the shorter version of the game as well. Last year, Davids represented the Junior Springboks at World Rugby’s Junior World Cup in England and in 2015 played SA Schools after a strong show at the Coca Cola Craven Week in Stellenbosch. A very strong ball carrier, Davids could be one of the leading face of the next generation of South African sevens stars.

Seabelo Senatla

Physical: 1.78m & 80kg, DOB: 10/03/1993, Welkom

Education: Koppie Alleen Primary, Riebeeckstad High, Central University of Technology, Free State

Other Squads: Team SA Commonwealth Games 2014; Griffons Craven Week Schools, CUT Varsity Cup, Junior Springboks 2013, DHL Western Province, DHL Stormers; Olympic Games 2016 (bronze medal).

Tournaments: 31 – debut – Wellington 2013; 860 points (172 tries)

Senatla is one of the rising stars in South African rugby and joined the Springboks on their 2013 Castle Lager Outgoing Series to Europe, although he did not play any tests. He has already represented his country at the Rugby World Cup Sevens in Moscow and the Junior World Championships in France in 2013. A prolific try scorer with searing pace and great footwork, Senatla was leading try-scorer in the 2015/16 World Series and was named World Rugby’s Sevens Player of the Year for the 2016 season.

Ruhan Nel

Physical: 1.92 & 90kg, DOB: 17 May 1991, Johannesburg

Education: Rynfield Primary, Brandwag HS, University of Johannesburg

Fast Facts: In his Currie Cup debut in 2013, Nel scored a try for the Xerox Golden Lions within the first five minutes he came onto the field (against the Toyota Free State Cheetahs).

Other squads: Steval Pumas (Under-19), Xerox Golden Lions (Vodacom Cup, Absa Currie Cup), FNB WITS Varsity Cup

Tournaments: 13 – debut Gold Coast; 125 points (25 tries)

Nel scored a hat-trick in his debut match for the Springbok Sevens against American Samoa at Gold Coast two years ago and did not look back since. He was impressive in last year’s series, but a broken collarbone sustained at the HSBC Paris Sevens robbed him of the chance to make the Olympic team.

Fast Springbok Sevens Facts:

•There have been 161 Springboks Sevens players since the inception of the World Series in 1999 (excluding Sevens World Cups). Zane Davids will become no 162 when he takes to the field in Wellington.

•No less than 32 BlitzBoks have gone on to represent the Springboks, with Warren Whiteley, Cornal Hendricks, Seabelo Senatla* and Jamba Ulengo the most recent.

*Senatla did not play in any tests.

Team records (All time)

Top Scorers

1. Cecil Afrika 1167 (47 tournaments)

2. Fabian Juries, 925 points (44 tournaments)

3. Branco du Preez 922 (47 tournaments)

4. Seabelo Senatla, 860 points (31 tournaments)

5. Mzwandile Stick, 855 points (37 tournaments)

Most tournament appearances

1. Frankie Horne 68

2. Kyle Brown 57

3. Chris Dry 54

4. Cecil Afrika 47

5. Branco du Preez 47

Most points scored in one match

Andries Fourie 31 (v Malaysia in Tokyo 2000, SA won 84-0)

Philip Burger 29 (v Mexico 2006, SA won 78-0)

Day 1

South Africa beat Olympic champion Fiji 31-12 on Saturday to stay unbeaten and atop their pool after the first day of the New Zealand  Sevens, the third round of the 2017 HSBC World Rugby Sevens series.

In a tough pool which featured Rio de Janiero gold medalists Fiji, bronze medalists South Africa and quarter-finalists Australia, the Blitzboks beat Japan 33-0 and Australia 28-0 before their commanding win over Fiji.

South Africa made a commanding start to the current season on the world circuit, beating Fiji in the final to win the first tournament at Dubai and losing 19-17 to England in the final of their home tournament in Cape Town on December 11.

“We knew we had a tough pool but the guys came out today, laid a solid foundation and kept building on that,” South Africa captain Philip Snyman said.

“We work hard on our defence, it’s something you can always improve and we’re now looking forward to the rest of the tournament.”

England was equally impressive in winning Pool A by beating Papua New Guinea 40-0, Argentina 26-7 and Kenya 31-12 to stay on course for another final showdown with South Africa. They will face Scotland in Sunday’s quarter-finals.

“We were trying to build through the day today,” England captain Tom Mitchell said.

“It’s been a long time since we last played and it was a case of getting through our rustiness early on.

“Scotland next. We know them very well and we are pretty close with them after training with some of them for (Britain at the Olympic Games). It’s always a fierce game with them and it’ll be a tough one.”

New Zealand scrambled their way to first place in Pool C, beating Samoa 33-0, France 21-14 and the United States 24-12.

The hosts will face Fiji in the quarter-finals while France, which edged the United States for second in a tight pool, will play South Africa (02:44 SA time).

The New Zealanders struggled for most of the day and their most pleasing win was likely over Samoa who are now coached by former New Zealand coach Gordon Tietjens.

Tietjens coached New Zealand for 12 years, but presided in his last three years over the steady deterioration in New Zealand sevens rugby, culminating in its humiliation at the Rio de Janiero Olympics. He resigned after that campaign and took on the Samoa coaching job in response to what he saw as his harsh treatment by New Zealand Rugby.

New Zealand, under caretaker coaches Scott Waldrom and Tomasi Cama, fielded a young team in the match against the United States which showed composure under pressure.

“It’s exciting seeing these young guys taking the opportunity,” captain Tim Mikkelson said.

“They’ve been itching every game and it’s good to get them on.

“The crossover is really tough and here we want to get up, do our homework, but we’re going to have to do things well against Fiji.”

Canada finished unbeaten and in first place in Pool D, beating Scotland 28-19, Wales 28-5 and Russia 29-0.

Wellington Seven Cup quarter-finals (SA time):

01:38 – England v Scotland

02:00 – New Zealand v Fiji

02:22 – Canada v Argentina

02:44 – South Africa v France

Results on Saturday on the first day of the Wellington Sevens, third round of the World Rugby Sevens series:

Pool A

Argentina 17, Kenya 12

England 40, Papua New Guinea 0

Kenya 47, Papua New Guinea 5

England 26, Argentina 7

Argentina 41, Papua New Guinea 14

England 31, Kenya 12

Pool B

Fiji 26, Australia 12

South Africa 33, Japan 0

Fiji 56, Japan 0

South Africa 28, Australia 0

Australia 33, Japan 12

South Africa 31, Fiji 12

Pool C

United States 21, France 21

New Zealand 33, France 7

United States 24, Samoa 12

New Zealand 21, France 14

France 28, Samoa 5

New Zealand 24, United States 12

Pool D

Wales 33, Russia 0

Canada 28, Scotland 19

Canada 28, Wales 5

Scotland 12, Russia 5

Canada 29, Russia 0

Scotland 31, Wales 7

Day 2

Updates to come……

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