24 Jul 2015

Trans-Tasman sevens showdown here in September

3:55 pm on 24 July 2015

The All Blacks Sevens will face the Australian men's sevens side in Rotorua in six unofficial matches in September.

The All Blacks Sevens in a huddle. The New Zealand rugby sevens side are among the favourites for the code's Olympic debut next year at Rio

The All Blacks Sevens team in a huddle Photo: Photosport

The series will be played over three days between the 12th-14th of the month, with the hosts warming up for the 2015/16 World Series, while the Australians are preparing for their Oceania Olympic qualification tournament taking place in Auckland on the weekend of 14th/15th November.

Only the winning country qualifies for the Rio 2016 Olympics. New Zealand have already qualified for the Games, but the Australians haven't.

All Blacks Sevens captain DJ Forbes (C) on the charge against Scotland in Tokyo

All Blacks Sevens captain DJ Forbes (C) on the charge against Scotland in Tokyo Photo: Photosport

The World Series kicks off the next month with back-to-back tournaments in Dubai (4-5 December) and Cape Town (12-13 December).

Australia also welcome Japan for an exhibition match prior to the Bledisloe Cup Test against the All Blacks on Saturday August 8th at Sydney's ANZ Stadium (the Olympic Stadium).

The Japanese side, also looking to qualify for Rio 2016 through their own regional tournament in Hong Kong in early November, will then train in Australia alongside players contracted to their sevens programme, as well as an Australian development squad.