Sport Rugby

Tuesday 24 October 2017

Plenty food for thought in Sevens code

Tony Ward

Tony Ward

I may be banging an old drum, but it would be remiss of me not to make reference to some recent rugby planning coming to our attention via Bay of Plenty in New Zealand.

Bay of Plenty is a large indentation in the northern coast of North Island. It would never be described as a rugby powerhouse yet, like almost every other area on the island, the base of former All Black Hika Reid and more recently Sam Cane is extremely passionate about its rugby.

To that end, and with a view to Rio 2016, a comprehensive programme has been put in place for local players, coaches and referees to participate in rugby Sevens from schools level up to players with national representation aspirations.

The programme starts on November 1 with the Bay Secondary Schools Sevens at U-15 for boys and U-19 for boys and girls. The winners then progress to the National Secondary Schools Sevens in Auckland in December.

Just two days after the schools tournament, Bay of Plenty club players will get their chance to progress in the abbreviated game. In the meantime, we plod on in blissful ignorance as the abridged version gets set to take the world by storm.

Rugby Sevens planning in Bay of Plenty may seem small fry but, drawn against the apparent 'couldn't care less' arrogance of rugby authorities here, it's one glaring example of why New Zealand rugby and New Zealand rugby players are by some distance the best at what they do.

Irish Independent

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