Rugby sevens teams around the world are in a race to be fit and ready for the Tokyo Olympics without any international competition and while some might struggle to prepare alone, our squads have come up with a simple solution.
The All Blacks and Black Ferns Sevens often have enough talent to field two or even three quality teams so with no world circuit to play in at the moment due to Covid-19, that’s exactly what they’ve done.
“There's no confirmed tournaments that we're going to so we've provided our own,” star Portia Woodman said.
“It's great to see some of the boys running around again for probably the first time in almost a year,” All Blacks Sevens coach Clark Laidlaw added.
The squads have split, taking each other on over the next three days at their Tauranga base with three invitational teams also thrown into the mix.
“These games are gonna be pretty crazy,” Black Ferns Sevens captain Sarah Hirini said.
“Everyone is extremely competitive - we don't want to give any of our teammates an inch.”
All Blacks star Joe Webber said everyone considers themselves lucky for the situation they’re in.
“We could bring in probably three, four, five teams,” he said.
“I'm sure Fiji would be the same. They'll probably be able to bring in twelve teams!”
Be careful what you wish for, Webber.
Gold medallists Fiji have already been playing their own local series for a month with a whopping 16 men's teams and four women's teams.
Come Tokyo in July, the world will find out just whose preparation worked best.