Queenstown loses sevens

Queenstown has lost the rights to the national sevens tournament with Rotorua to host the event in 2014 and 2015, the New Zealand Rugby Union announced today.

NZRU chief executive Steve Tew said:"Sevens is rising in popularity across both the men's and women's games so we are very keen to make the most of this and Rotorua offers us the best opportunity to do that."

"2014 and 2015 are critical years in the build-up to Sevens' debut on the Olympic stage in 2016 so we are really excited about the role Rotorua will play in our plans to win two golds at Rio."

Queenstown had hosted the tournament since 2003 and the NZRU decided earlier this year to call for tenders for the event.

"The National Sevens Tournament is a proven springboard for players to step up to the top level so it's important we safeguard the role it plays," Tew said.

"We need greater capacity to cater for future expansion of the tournament both in terms of grounds and spectator facilities and Bay of Plenty provided a compelling package in that regard. We also think Rotorua International Stadium will provide a fantastic environment to showcase the depth of our skills in the Sevens game.

"I would like to thank Queenstown's organising committee Sevens with Altitude for its outstanding efforts in hosting the tournament since 2003. We have really appreciated their energy and passion in reviving the event and turning it into an important part of the rugby calendar."

The 2013 National Sevens takes place at the Queenstown Recreation Ground on January 12 and 13.