No slacking for Tasman sevens teams

There will be no second helpings of Christmas pudding for the Tasman Sevens squad members tomorrow, as they build towards the National Sevens tournament in Queenstown next month.

The Tasman Rugby Union has announced the squads that will compete for the men's and women titles, under the watchful eyes of the national selectors.

Tasman men's coach Mike Kerrisk said training would continue during the festive season. "We are taking two very young teams that will not carry as much experience as past teams, but it is a chance to pit themselves against the best and take every opportunity possible."

Twenty-two teams will compete in the revamped National Sevens tournament on January 12-13, with women competing for the first time in 10 years.

Sixteen men's and six women's provincial teams have qualified to compete in the annual national tournament following three regional tournaments (Southern, Central and Northern regions) in November and December.

The Tasman men's team were beaten 43-14 in the semifinals of the South Island tournament in Timaru by eventual champions Otago, but still achieved the top-five placing needed to qualify.

The Tasman women's team, playing for the first time together at a major tournament, upset top qualifiers and tournament favourites Otago in the semifinals, and finished runner-up behind Canterbury to gain one of the two qualifying places.

Both All Blacks Sevens coach Gordon Tietjens and New Zealand Women's Sevens coach Sean Horan will attend the Queenstown tournament.

The event will be broadcast live on SKY Sport 1, with the first match kicking off on Saturday, January 12 at 10.30am.

It will be the 10th year Queenstown has hosted the event, with matches to be played at the Queenstown Recreational Ground and Jack Reid Park in Arrowtown.

The tournament will move to Rotorua for 2014 and 2015.

Tasman Men's squad: Shawn Begg (captain), Dan Hyatt (vice-captain), Kim Bateman, Mitchell Scott, James Lowe, Kaide Whiting, Ryan Setephano, Trael Joass, Fletcher Matthews, Dan Hytongue, Vern Fredericks, Sione Holani; Coach: Mike Kerrisk; Team manager: Liam Squire; Trainer: Jeremy McIlroy; Physio: Phil Arthur.

Tasman Women's squad: Ange Cotton, Moana Forbes, Jodi Hikuroa, Fern Hoskin, Alesha Curtis, Zoe Johnson, Jess Drummond, Hayley Hurring, Hazel Tubic, Yakira Taituha, Dana Wilson, Courtney O'Callahan; Non-travelling reserves: Ilisa Higgins, Abbie Cederman; Coaches: Shawn Begg and Cyril Collier; Team manager: Tracey Black; Trainer: Chez Bloxham; Physio: Phil Arthur.

The teams competing in the tournament are: Men's: Northland, North Harbour, Auckland, Counties Manukau, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Hawke's Bay, Taranaki, Manawatu, Wairarapa Bush, Wellington, Tasman, Canterbury, South Canterbury, Otago, Southland. Women's: Auckland, Waikato, Taranaki, Manawatu, Tasman, Canterbury.

The Nelson Mail