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Pasifika Aotearoa Cup for Womens Sevens this weekend

Women’s sevens players from around Auckland, Waikato and Bay of Plenty will compete in the inaugural Pasifika Aotearoa Cup at Otahuhu College on Saturday in a tournament designed to cater for the growing popularity of the game.

The inaugural tournament, follows the success of a XVs version of the competition earlier this year and sees players representing their Pasifika and Maori communities, clubs and schools.

New Zealand Rugby General Manager Community and Provincial Rugby Brent Anderson said the biggest increase in player numbers in 2014 had been among female players and competitions like this were designed to provide playing opportunities for girls and women.

“The XV a side version of this competition that we held in March was a huge success. The players jumped at the chance to represent their communities and play at a competitive level.

“There was a fantastic festival atmosphere at the competition and developing a sevens version of it was a natural step. Sevens is exciting and fast-paced and hugely popular among players. It’s also provides an opportunity for non-rugby players to become involved in the game.

“Women’s sevens will be part of the 2016 Olympics in Rio and it’s going to be in the Commonwealth Games for the first time in 2018. The level of competition of women’s rugby is really expanding and our increasing player numbers show how more and more girls and women are keen to be involved.

Anderson said the tournament organisers had been overwhelmed with the number of teams who were keen to play and the calibre of players who included Black Ferns and New Zealand Women’s Sevens players.

“It’s going to be an exciting festival of sevens and we’re encouraging Aucklanders to get behind this tournament and to come out and support their local communities,” said Anderson.

DETAILS

Date: Saturday, 22 November
Venue: Otahuhu College, Memorial Park
Kick-off: 9am

Competing teams:

Auckland Samoa Auckland Opens, U19, U15, Tight 5
Auckland Tonga Auckland Opens, U19, U15, Tight 5
Waitemata Fiji Auckland Opens, U19,
Ponsonby Cook Islands Auckland Opens, U19
Tainui Waka Waikato Opens
Waiariki BOP BOP U19, U15’
Ponsonby Fillies Auckland Opens, U19s, Tight 5
North Bridge North Harbour Opens, U19
Lady Hawkes Auckland Opens
University Auckland Opens
Wasps BOP Opens
Dubs Fast Crew Waikato Tight 5
Otahuhu College Auckland U19s, U15s
Howick College Auckland U15s