The Touch World Cup has begun in Kuala Lumpur with the open men’s and women’s sides beginning their campaigns tomorrow morning.
The men have their first game against Japan at 9:40am, while the women play host side Malaysia at 11:20am.
The tournament, which runs until May 5, is being held in Malaysia for the first time. The 2015 World Cup was in Coffs Harbour, Australia, and previous editions have been held in Edinburgh, Stellenbosch, Hawaii and Auckland.
New Zealand has teams in all ten open, mixed and age grades. The event is the largest Touch World Cup ever, with 119 teams competing in total, around 2,500 players.
Australia has traditionally held dominance over the sport, with all major finals being played between them and New Zealand over the tournament’s 30 year history. Their sides have won every open grade final since 2007.
The other NZ teams competing are: Mixed Open, Women's 27, Mixed 30, Women's 35, Men's 40, Men's 45 and Men's 50.