5 Feb 2018

Hamilton in doubt for hosting Sevens after 2019

11:40 am on 5 February 2018

Hamilton will again host the New Zealand leg of the World Rugby Sevens next year, but the future beyond that is uncertain.

The Rugby Sevens at Waikato Stadium in Hamilton.

The Rugby Sevens at Waikato Stadium in Hamilton. Photo: Photosport NZ

The city hosted the tournament over the weekend with sell-out crowds at Waikato Stadium on both days.

Fiji took out the title after beating South Africa 24-17. New Zealand had to settle for fourth.

The New Zealand Rugby Union and World Rugby said the inaugural event in Hamilton over the weekend was a success, but New Zealand must now tender to host a series from 2020 onwards.

New Zealand Sevens Tournament general manager Steve Dunbar said hosting a world series in New Zealand could not be taken for granted.

He said while there are no guarantees, New Zealand was a big contributor towards the global Sevens series both in terms of having a team that participates in all of the tournaments and its success at running the event for the last 19 years, 18 of them in Wellington.

"A pretty good head start on a lot of other countries."

Mr Dunbar said whispers on "the streets" suggested Fiji was keen to replace New Zealand as hosts of the international tournament.

"It would be wonderful for the global game and Fiji has contributed a lot to Sevens."

Mr Dunbar said World Rugby had been glowing in its comments about the Hamilton tournament.

"They have been particularly happy about the field of play (at Waikato Stadium) and think it is the best there is on the global series."

A decision on hosting from 2020 will be made later this year.

In the meantime next year's event will be held on 26-27 January at Waikato Stadium.

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