New Zealand's Stacey Fluhler dives in a try against Fiji on day two of the HSBC New Zealand Sevens 2020 women's competition. Photo credit: Mike Lee - KLC fotos for World Rugby
The Black Ferns have continued their march towards a World Sevens Series title with a win over Fiji this morning, but the talk around Waikato Stadium is where the New Zealand leg of the Sevens may head to next.
As confirmed yesterday by NZ Rugby Director of Rugby Nigel Cass, the tournament is looking to change venues in the coming years. While Cass couldn’t confirm any particular location, he did rule out a move to Fiji next year or the year after.
“There’s a hell of a lot of infrastructure needed for a tournament of this type. We remain hopeful that we can achieve that in 2023.” he told media.
The announcement means that the door is open for any potential host town or city to put their foot in for the next two years.
“We’re working on options for 2021 and the year after.”
The most likely venues would appear to be Tauranga, where both Sevens squads have their training bases, or Rotorua which has a decent sized stadium. There’s also the possibility of simply moving it to Eden Park, where they can tap in to the Auckland fan base.
Meanwhile, on the field the Black Ferns Sevens had a tough time of it before eventually prevailing over Fijiana 38-21. The Fijian women have improved rapidly over the last couple of seasons, which wasn’t lost on Black Fern Stacey Fluhler (nee Waaka).
“They’ve always been strong, they’re just starting to use their gameplay a bit more” she said.
Fluhler also had a word of encouragement for team mate Ruby Tui, who was on the end of a massive hit by one of the Fijian players that led to a try.
“She’s such a strong wahine toa, I’m proud to call her my sister”
The result sees the Black Ferns safely into the semi finals, where they’ll play France. The All Blacks Sevens just need to beat Scotland at 1:30 to book their place in the business end too.