Fan favourite Tonga have secured the final spot at the 2019 HSBC New Zealand Sevens in Hamilton where the Pacific Island nation will return to the World Sevens Series for the first time in more than five years.
Tonga will join fifteen other teams in the men’s draw at Waikato Stadium on January 26-27 after finishing fifth at the Oceania Sevens in Suva.HSBC New Zealand Sevens General Manager Steve Dunbar said Tonga’s return to the World Sevens Series was welcome addition to the 2019 tournament.
“We all know the quality of rugby players Tonga consistently produces and the flair they bring to the field, but we also know they have a massive support base in New Zealand.
“We saw the passion of Tongan fans when their national rugby league team played in Hamilton during the Rugby League World Cup in 2017 and I’m sure they’ll get in behind their Sevens team too. I wouldn’t be surprised if they caused a few upsets.”
Tonga takes the place of Papua New Guinea from the teams that competed at the 2018 HSBC New Zealand Sevens with Japan replacing Russia. Japan has earned promotion to core-team status on the World Sevens Series for 2019.
The full list of men’s teams competing at the 2019 HSBC New Zealand Sevens are Argentina, Australia, Canada, England, Fiji, France, Kenya, the All Blacks Sevens, Japan, Samoa, Scotland, South Africa, Spain, Tonga, Wales and USA.
Another new-comer to the New Zealand leg of the World Sevens Series is China, who will compete in the Fast Four women’s tournament where the Black Ferns Sevens will play in front of their home crowd for the first time. France and Russia are the other two teams in the women’s draw.
The action at the 2019 HSBC New Zealand Sevens is also heating up off the field with organisers confirming a new joint promotion for fans spending Auckland Anniversary weekend in Hamilton.
Starting from $160 fans can now buy a ticket which includes the Fatboy Slim concert at Claudelands Arena in Hamilton on Friday, 25 January as well as two days of action-packed Sevens on 26-27 January in the R18 Amber Zone.
The joint promotion tickets are available from the Ticketek Website: