NZ Sevens’ women and men’s teams congregate before flying to Sydney
By Te Karere
Moving together towards success, New Zealand's top Sevens’ players are in Tauranga, all vying for a spot in the national squads.
The teams are set to be named tomorrow. Both coaches admitting they have tough decisions to make.
Women’s coach Allan Bunting says it’s going to be a hard decision.
“Definitely a really tough job finalising the squad. Pretty emotional moments, but how quickly we think they will respond and grow and learn and sort of reach potential.”
Te Karere understands Ngarohi McGarvey-Black of Ngāi Tūhoe is in the running for the male team following his performance at the Nationals with the men’s coach Clark Laidlaw elaborating further on the process.
“We've three contracts left to contract players. We've got a really open mind, we've got a list of about 40 players and whistled it down to five over the last two or three months through various Sevens tournaments. We were able to watch them through the regionals and the Mount tournament and that really confirmed and narrowed it down over the weekend. So it's been quite a big process but really happy where we've got over the last couple of weeks.”
The World Sevens Circuit is the top priority but Laidlaw says they are also keeping an eye on the future and bigger tournaments coming up.
“The guys that will get contracted, the major focus will be trying to prepare for the Commonwealth Games in April. I suppose the development space will be trying to build some depth in behind.”
And Bunting agrees.
“Because it's been a pinnacle year. Be focused on the Commonwealth Games, that's our next big one. We've got Sydney coming up next week which will start building the foundations for that. But, staying closely with our squad and with our development so we're growing as a whole.”
The teams are set to be named tomorrow and both squads will fly to Sydney for the first tournament of the year next week.