Black Fern Sevens to host 2019 'Fast Four' tournament

By Regan Paranihi

New Zealand Rugby has announced that the world champion Black Ferns Sevens squad will partake in the 2019 HSBC New Zealand Sevens tournament to be held in Hamilton.

The Black Ferns Sevens squad will play France, China, and England during the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series on January 26-27 next year.

Black Ferns Sevens captain Sarah Goss says playing on home soil will be a special occasion for the team.

“We get to play in some amazing places around the world but nothing will beat playing at home in front of a full stadium.  It will be a great opportunity to wear the black jersey in front of our families, friends and incredible fans at a great event.”

Tournament General Manager Steve Dunbar says this is a historic moment.

“We are excited to be hosting the first international women's Sevens tournament to be played in New Zealand and I know fans will be thrilled to have the chance to cheer on the Black Ferns Sevens at home."

Dunbar says adding the women’s teams into the two-day tournament will bring the competition to another level.

"The recent World Cup showcased the incredible skill, speed and excitement of women's sevens and fans can't get enough.  Adding a women's tournament to our Hamilton event alongside the men's tournament takes the HSBC New Zealand Sevens to another level.

"Hosting France, England, and China will be an exciting tournament; they are all tough opponents so we won't be taking anything for granted."

Dunbar praised World Rugby for supporting the Fast Four tournament concept and was confident Hamilton would be able to host a fully integrated men's and women's leg of the HSBC Rugby World Sevens Series in the future.