Capital turns on charm for sevens parade

Tournament kicks off with city parade

Last updated 13:05 05/02/2014
ROBERT KITCHIN/Fairfax NZ

The Wellington Sevens celebrations kicked off today with the annual nations parade through Wellington.

Wellington sevens parade
CAMERON BURNELL/Fairfax NZ Zoom
The English team enjoying themselves.

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We came, we roared - let's hope they conquer.

Thousands of Wellingtonians packed the streets over lunchtime for the annual Wellington Sevens parade. The procession snaked around from Lambton Quay, down Willis St and to Civic Square for the official welcome from the mayor.

Most cheers, of course, were for the local lads. The New Zealand team is hoping for a tournament win to get them ahead of rivals South Africa in the IRB world standings.

But fans of all teams crowded on the curb or took to balconies and window sills to catch a glimpse. One family had what were possibly Argentina's youngest fans, two-year-old Max and seven-month-old Federico McCallum.

Dad Tom McCallum is English and his wife Veronica is Argentinian, so picking a team for their sons was a difficult choice, Mr McCallum said.

The kids will have to wait a few years before they'll get to see the Sevens live, though. "We've been in the past, but not while they're little."

New Zealand team coach Gordon Tietjens said his players were looking forward to heading out on to their home turf at Westpac Stadium on Friday. The parade was always an "amazing" way to kick off the event.

"It seems to get bigger every year."

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- The Dominion Post

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