All Blacks 7s in action at The Mount
A father and son will go head to head as friendly international rugby sevens hits Mount Maunganui.
The All Blacks Sevens are in action against a Fiji Barbarians side and Tonga’s New Zealand based sevens team over the weekend.
The Black Ferns Sevens are also in action and are currently holding their training camp at Arataki Park.
The All Blacks Sevens have split their squad into two for the invitational, named All Blacks Sevens ‘Black’ and All Blacks Sevens ‘Orange’.
Games will be played over today and tomorrow, with teams playing five games each at Blake Park.
Black Ferns Sevens have split their team into two, ‘Black’ and ‘Pink’ with a Black Ferns Sevens Development side and a Rugby Vault side rounding out the women’s side of the draw.
The women’s tournament will then conclude with semi-finals and a final on Sunday.
For the Tonga side, it’s a chance to test themselves against leading sevens players ahead of Olympic Qualifiers in Monaco this June.
"It is quite a blessing that we are able to base here in New Zealand with Covid and we have this opportunity," says Tonga head coach Tevita Tu’ifua.
"It's a blessing for the group and also for the country as well, especially to have the relationship with New Zealand is quite a great blessing for us prior to the main event."
One exciting match-up will be between 17-year-old Auckland flyer Caleb Tangitau, who will be playing for All Blacks Sevens ‘Orange’, and his 41-year-old father Vaea Meesi Tangitau, who is a part of the Tongan squad.
"Not sure if Vaea [will] get a second on field but it’s more for [his] son's benefit," admitted Tevita, who also backed Tangitau the younger to impress in the black jersey.
"We all in full support of those young Tongan kids [who choose to play] for New Zealand."
An extended 30 man squad will feature in Mount Maunganui this weekend, including a handful of players from outside of Auckland who have travelled north at their own cost.
"Some of the boys have been on our database and be able to make it through to sacrifice to be a part of the tournament. It's an opportunity for them to trial out and see where they're at for finalising our squad."
The action got underway from 11am Friday, February 19, and fans are invited to come enjoy the action.
Thanks to Level 1 in The Mount, Sevens are back! Come see the boys take on @Tongan7s and the Fijian BaaBaas.— All Blacks Sevens (@AllBlacks7s) February 17, 2021
The tournament won’t be broadcast or live-streamed so get yourself down to Blake Park to catch the action. It will be an absolute cracker of a weekend!@BlackFerns pic.twitter.com/IPTXW3dD2M