An increase from 10 to 14 teams overall and a continuation of the hot sevens rugby seen at the same venue last weekend at the Condor Sevens, should make this Saturday’s second annual World Schools Sevens tournament a must-follow event.
Eight boys teams (up from six last year) and six girls sides (up from four) will battle it out over one day at Sacred Heart College to be crowned champions for 2017.
The tournament has a truly international feel to it, with teams from Australia (boys and girls), Canada (boys) and Japan (girls) entering, and invitational sides representing Tonga and Samoa (both boys and girls), and Fiji (boys).
Last year the Australians won the inaugural Boys tournament, beating the Samoan Barbarians 24-19 in the Cup final. The New Zealand Condors side settled for the Plate title with a 24-19 win over the Samoan Barbarians, so will be out for more.
Coached by Anare Koliavu, a former Northern United club teammate of the late All Black Jerry Collins and also a loose forward, the Australian team is sure to be slick and up for the challenge.
The New Zealand Boys Invitational squad is: 1 Scott Gregory (Northland Union), 2 Quade Tapsell (Gisborne Boys' High School), 3 TJ Ane (De La Salle Collge), 4 Leroy Carter (Tauranga Boys College), 5 Rico Symes (Christchurch Boys' High School), 6 Lemeki Namoa (Sacred Heart College), 7 Taufa Funaki Scots College), 9 Brad McNaughten (Hamilton Boys' High School), 10 Taniella Fillimone (Rotorua Boys'High School), 11 Lisiate Falou (Liston Collge), 12 Emoni Narawa (Hamilton Boys High School), 13 Jaylen Taupolo (Scots College), 14 Michael Loft (New Plymouth Boys'High School)
The New Zealand Condors team won the 2016 Girls tournament, beating the New Zealand Wasps invitational team 19-12 in the final.
The two New Zealand girls teams for the tournament are here: https://www.collegesportmedia.co.nz/rugby-union/new-zealand-u17-and-u18-schoolgirls-teams-selected-for-world-schools-tournament
The tournament is live on channel 51 from 12.30pm and College Sport Media will review the tournament.
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