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Nayland competing at historic sevens event

JONATHAN MCKEOWN
Last updated 13:00 30/11/2012

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The sevens immersion continues for the region's female rugby players.

The Nayland College girls' sevens team are off to Auckland this weekend for the national secondary schools BNZ Condor Sevens tournament.

The team will be part of a historic occasion, as it is the first time a girls' event has been held in the 25-year history of the competition. The reasoning behind it is due mostly to the inclusion of sevens in the Olympic schedule.

The journey north for the Nayland girls comes hot on the heels of the Tasman Makos women's team qualifying for the national finals at a tournament in Timaru last weekend.

Nayland team captain Tash Kara said the Tasman side's achievements were great for women's rugby.

"I have played a lot with them, and I was supposed to be in the team . . . I do admire them and their talent and skill and passion for the game. With the sevens, it is a real positive to be able to show other girls that there is a pathway.

"For me personally, I definitely want to get more involved, and there are a couple of girls who really are keen to get into reps.

"The most exciting part of it is that Nayland is now being looked at [for rugby].

"I think this will be a good opportunity to show off the talent we do have in the girls' side."

Nayland have been drawn alongside Auckland Girls Grammar School, Mahurangi College and Napier Girls' High School in their pool.

Taman secondary schools boys champions Nelson College will also be at the Auckland event. Nelson qualified by winning the Tasman Secondary Schools competition, while the Nayland girls had no opposition.

Nelson College finished runner-up in 2011, going down 26-19 to Kelston Boys' High School in the national final. With most key players returning to the competition, Nelson will be competitive again.

Nelson College are in pool B with former champions Auckland Grammar School, the team they beat to reach the final last year. Napier Boys' High School and Westlake Boys' High School are also in the pool.

With 16 teams in both the boys' and girls' competitions, 88 matches will be played.

The action starts at 8am on Sunday at Kelston Boys' High School in West Auckland. The cup finals are scheduled for 4pm for the girls and 5pm for the boys. All matches will be broadcast live on Sky TV's Rugby Channel, with delayed highlights on Sky Sport.

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- The Nelson Mail

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