Wellington Sevens players on parade

02:14, Jan 31 2013
Wellington Sevens parade
Crowds line the streets for the Wellington Sevens parade.
Wellington Sevens parade
The New Zealand Sevens team wave to the crowd in Wellington.
Wellington Sevens parade
A young Tonga supporter in the parade.
Wellington Sevens parade
Three-year-old Madison Shaw enjoys the parade.
Wellington Sevens parade
A Scotland player greets a child in the crowd.
Wellington Sevens parade
Crowds wait for the Wellington Sevens parade.
Wellington Sevens parade 2013
Wellington office workers watch the parade.
Wellington Sevens parade 2013
New Zealand player Lote Raikabula and his three-year-old son Emanuel.
Sevens parade 2013
Tim Mikkelson (left) and Belgium Tuatagaloa acknowledge the crowd.
Sevens parade 2013
The New Zealand team's float in the Wellington Sevens parade.

Fans turned out in force in central Wellington to see the stars of the Hertz Wellington Sevens take to the streets for the annual pre-tournament parade.

Lambton Quay and Willis St had a carnival atmosphere as the CBD came to a standstill for the spectacle.

All 16 international teams took to floats through central Wellington, and thousands of fans lined the streets to greet them.

Referees led the parade on the first float out, followed by a group of dancers. 

Tim Mikkelson and Belgium Tuatagaloa
HOMETOWN SUPPORT: New Zealand sevens team members Tim Mikkelson and Belgium Tuatagaloa wave to the crowd during the Wellington Sevens parade on Willis Street.

Fiji's float received a huge cheer from the crowd, as players threw their arms out and greeted fans with loud chants of "Bula".

But the crowds saved the biggest cheers for the New Zealand team, who high-fived screaming fans as their float went by.

Ahead of the parade, New Zealand's Manawatu-born Taranaki fullback Kurt Baker said the team were excited about the challenge on their home turf.

''It's pretty close to home, it's only about an hour and a half from where I was born so hopefully there's some people in the parade crowd that I know,''he said.

''It seems like all of Wellington gets in behind it. All the teams enjoy it, as well as those people who don't actually go to the rugby itself, so they get to see some players.''

The parade started on the corner of Ballance St and Lambton Quay at 12.45pm, travelled down Lambton Quay and Willis St and finished at Civic Square.

There, the teams are officially welcomed by Mayor Celia-Wade Brown.

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